- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 11, 2016

WEST TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday he thinks it’s “highly doubtful” he will be included on a list of unindicted co-conspirators in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal.

The Republican governor and former presidential candidate said he doesn’t think he’s on the list because he didn’t know what was going on when former allies allegedly conspired to close lanes of the bridge for political retribution in September 2013.

“I don’t believe so, but I guess no one knows until they actually put the list out. But I find it highly doubtful I’d be on that list given I didn’t know what was going on,” Christie said at an unrelated news conference. “This is old news everyone. I’m done with that.”

Since withdrawing from the presidential primaries, Christie has become one of Donald Trump’s key supporters and was chosen by the presumptive Republican nominee to lead his transition team if he’s elected.

U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton said Tuesday it’s in the public’s interest for the government to disclose the list. The ruling came after a lawsuit filed by media organizations, including The Associated Press. On Wednesday, Wigenton gave prosecutors until noon Friday to release the list.

The government had opposed the list’s release arguing that the uncharged third parties would not have a chance to vindicate themselves at trial and that their privacy outweighed the public’s right to know their identities. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge operations, also opposed the disclosure.

The judge rejected arguments that the privacy of those on the list was at risk. She also wrote that cases involving allegations of violations of the public trust increase the people’s need to monitor proceedings.

Christie’s former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official Bill Baroni were indicted last spring on wire fraud and civil rights deprivation charges. They’re accused of creating traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge, which connects Fort Lee and New York City and is one of the busiest in the world, to punish a Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie for governor. The lane closures caused four days of massive traffic jams. The two have pleaded not guilty in the case.

Christie hasn’t been charged and has denied knowledge of the scheme. A taxpayer-funded report he commissioned also absolved him of wrongdoing.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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