Nightly News   |  January 31, 2014

Christie Appointee Releases Bridge Debacle Bombshell

A former appointee of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Christie knew of the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge even while the slowdown was happening, contradicting what Christie said during a press conference.

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>>> of governor chris christie of new jersey says he has evidence the governor knew of the forced slowdown on the george washington bridge between new jersey and new york while it was going on. and that he is prepared to prove it. despite the governor's repeated denial tonight, this scandal has again engulfed chris christie , embarrassingly on the eve of the super bowl , the first ever held in new jersey. tonight, the state's leading newspaper is saying if this is true, the governor must resign, and high profile attorney said he needs to hire an attorney if he has not already. and kate.

>> reporter: good evening, brian, the appointee is david wildstein, it is important to note we don't know what the evidence is, the letter did not specify. also important to note his lawyer is trying to get his legal fees paid. but if this is substantiated you have to wonder how can chris christie survive this?

>> david wildstein.

>> reporter: late this afternoon, a lawyer for david wildstein the former port authority official linked in the george washington lane closure scandal produced a letter disputing chris christie 's claim that he didn't know anything about it.

>> let me tell you, everybody, i was behilind sided.

>> reporter: in the letter, he says the governor not only knew but it was his order, the letter ties him to the lane closures during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.

>> this is a hugely significant development in the investigation. it is a direct challenge to the credibility of governor christie, but until we see the evidence that david wildstein is talking about it is very hard to know how to evaluate.

>> reporter: on january 9th in that press conference, christie strongly denied knowing about it, adding it was a political vendetta.

>> i am humiliated by the fact i didn't know it, i was deceived. it was an awful way to feel.

>> reporter: wildstein who had already resigned when he appeared before the assembly, would not answer any questions.

>> on the advice of my counsel, i assert my right to remain silent.

>> reporter: what he knew and when was the key questions, after his former chief of staff bridget anne kelly sent a memo saying there was time for traffic problems in fort lee , wildstein replied, got it. there were 20 subpoenas issued seeking information from his top aide and re-election campaign. responses to the subpoenas are due next week.

>> i don't know what documents he is referring to. we had subpoenaed documents from him. i'm a little frustrated as committee chair that we had asked for documents from him through a valid subpoena. he provided us over 900 pages. and apparently the documents he referred to were not part of that response.

>> reporter: and the voices are only going to get louder after this. forget presidential hopes, brian, many now say that if this is proved he should resign or be impeached.

>> katy tur starting us off