Wildstein Pleads The Fifth - My9 New Jersey

Wildstein Pleads The Fifth

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Trenton, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Former Port Authority Executive David Wildstein is one of the people at the center of the bridgegate controversy.

Wildstein was a Governor Christie appointee who originally ordered the “traffic study” and as a result he was subpoenaed to testify in front of the Assembly Transportation Committee regarding his knowledge of the lane closures in Fort Lee leading to the George Washington Bridge which started this whole debacle.

When it came time for Wildstein to talk during the testimony he chose to plead the 5th on everything upon recommendation from his criminal defense attorney Alan Zegas.

“On the advice of counsel, I again, assert my right to remain silent,” he said several times.

Wildstein’s repetitive response didn’t stop Committee Chair John Wisniewski from grilling him with questions anyway. Ultimately, they found him in contempt, so this is not over for Wildstein.

In the documents released Wednesday, Wildstein is implicated in saying some of the more harsh comments regarding Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.

Rutgers law professor, Jason Belzer, chimed in to discuss Wildstein’s testimony.

“I think it can absolutely lead to a criminal investigation. It is a little bit far-fetched for him to have to sit there and take the fifth on every single question because everyone knows he worked at the Port Authority and he’s not exactly self-incriminating himself by saying he did. The statue that’s gonna really hold weight here is the official misconduct statute, and that basically says if someone, a political figure uses his authority to potentially provide a benefit for themselves by abusing their legal power as an official of the state, they can be prosecuted under the criminal law of New Jersey,” he said.

However, Belzer isn’t exactly surprised that Wildstein continued to plead the fifth.

“He’s probably gonna be the fall guy for this, he already is. I mean he was the first one to resign and he’s had plenty of time to think about what could happen here and I think he’s very smart to lawyer up,” he said.

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