New Jersey Democrats: Oh, Hey, Christie Wasn’t Involved in the Lane Closures

This will be the big story on MSNBC for the next three weeks, right?

A report summarizing a yearlong investigation by the legislative panel examining the George Washington Bridge lane closures found no evidence of Governor Christie’s involvement but concluded that two of his allies acted “with perceived impunity” when they gridlocked Fort Lee’s streets apparently for political reasons.

The committee’s 136-page report, drawing off sworn testimony, private interviews and thousands of subpoenaed documents, also highlights the unsuccessful efforts by a now-shuttered arm of Christie’s office to court the Fort Lee mayor’s endorsement, finding that the closures were “motivated in part by political considerations.”

The attorney who prepared the report for the state legislature was Reid Schar, a former U.S. Attorney who was the lead prosecutor in both corruption trials of former Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois.

The lane closure was indeed a scandal, and some may argue that the fact that Christie’s staffers acted so maliciously and with such impunity reflects badly on his administration and judgment in the people he hires and trusts. But whether you love Christie or hate him, it’s hard to dispute that most of the media — particularly MSNBC’s obsessive coverage — tore his reputation to shreds based upon the faulty assumption that Christie had a hand in the lane closures.

Of course, Ahab will keep chasing his . . . wait, that metaphor could be perceived as a slam at Christie. Let’s just point out that New Jersey assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democrat, told CNN, “We are not done by any means.” He announced the beginning of his investigation of the matter back on October 2, 2013.

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