Skip to comments.Dershowitz: Christie Could Face Criminal Prosecution for Bridge-gate
Posted on 01/10/2014 11:08:53 AM PST by Titus-Maximus
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could face criminal prosecution over the George Washington Bridge lane closures if it is found anyone was harmed because of them, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz says. Appearing Thursday on CNN, Dershowitz singled out the case of the 91-year-old woman who died after emergency personnel were slowed in reaching her because of the September lane closures. If it is shown the woman would have lived if help had arrived sooner, Christie could be charged because of "willful negligence," he said. Christie apologized in a press conference earlier Thursday after it was revealed that two of his aides had orchestrated lane closures on the bridge leading from Fort Lee, N.J., into New York City. Text messages between the two indicated the closures were intended as political punishment for Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not supporting Christie in his re-election bid. Though Christie has denied knowing about the action before Wednesday, critics charge the governor set a climate that would have led the aides to think he would approve. The New York Times ran a story in December on examples of people who believed Christie had taken revenge on them. It is for that reason, Dershowitz argued on CNN, that if Christie is charged he should be tried in New York so he would not be able to take revenge on New Jersey judges and prosecutors.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...
As soon as they can free up some personnel from the Fast and Furious prosecutions, I’m sure they’ll be right on it.
B.S. This is a tempest in a teapot. Christie’s apology was a textbook of how a politician should apologize, and anyone that heard it will accept it and move on. I say all this despite the fact that I am NOT an Christie fan.
I really don’t understand this.
1. Wasn’t there medical care for this woman in New Jersey?
2. If it was so critical to get her to NY why didn’t they helicopter her over there?
There are no impeachable offenses to charge the Communists empire with. They make the law and power is damn near complete.
What about freakin’ Bloomberg who went on a traffic blocking rampage when the city council turned down his congestion pricing? Practically overnight every conceivable road job was approved as well as his bike lane fiasco that cut the width of streets by a 3rd not to mention closing entire streets permanently? I can’t even count the amount of times I saw ambulances and firetrucks sitting perfectly still stuck in traffic with their sirens blaring.
3. The ambulance company should be culpable if they didn’t take the simple precaution of checking on the traffic conditions before they left.
It’s very curious how this all comes out right when this Robert Gates this is happening. Gee, just where did they get those emails anyway? Did they Kenyan place a call to the NSA?
What a can of worms if a precedence is set that a governor can be civilly or even criminally liable for damages done because of traffic jams.
I think cooler heads would step in before that happened.
Apology, excuse, cover-up — it matters not. Surely you’re aware that there are different rules for Republicans than for Democrats...in short, they control the “teapot”.
Crisis management experts will tell you that his overlong rambling mess of a presser yesterday only made things worse. But the reality will be shaped by the media, not from what you or even the experts think. And they will not let go of this until they have no dirty cards left to play. Don’t be surprised if there are impeachment attempts, and naturally there will be lawsuits and investigations aplenty to keep this front-and-center. And if more allegations of “thug management” come out, more emails become public, it will go on and on.
Why isn’t this true for each illegal not deported from the U.S. that then commits a crime or kills someone in an uninsured auto accident. You would think the INS, and officials of “sanctuary cities” would be held liable for intentionally not enforcing the laws.
How many people in the USA actually give a damn about a closed lane on some highway in New Jersey? Jeeze.
Her daughter already said the traffic had nothing to do with her mother’s death, she was 91 and it was her time.
I think Dershy is just looking for attention.
(Also there is little doubt in my mind that the traffic on the GW bridge that was not from Fort Lee flowed better -- for once. I used to commute over that bridge and it was usually a nightmare.)
Derche is a jerk. Nothing he says is worth listening to.
He is the Gov for NJ what would you expect a upstanding guy.
The real story as told by the dead woman’s family. They stated that the whole contretemps over traffic had nothing to do with the 90+ ladies death. The woman stated that her mother was long dead before anyone could help her. It was just her time, as stated by her daughter. The ambulance arrived maybe 2 minutes late at most because of traffic delays. However the ambulance was in no hurry, it was taking the slow ride. I live in the county this incident occurred in. It is common, very common, that the local EMT squad is used just to pick up the body. The family knew the lady was long gone when they picked up the phone to dial 911. I salute them for having the character to tell the truth instead of trying to cash in some way.
There would need to be some sort of smoking gun showing Christie ordered or gave approval to incident and none has emerged as of yet. Before anyone gets too down on Dersh remember he was one of the few of the media class who stuck up for George Zimemerman during the whole Travon fiasco. I don’t always agree with Dersh and he is a attention whore but I do think he calls them as he see them.
But you'll never see this sentence:
US DOJ Head Eric Holder could face criminal prosecution over the running of guns to Mexican drug lords if it is found anyone was harmed because of them, Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz says.
Hypocracy is so common with liberals, that it is now expected.
He's right. This was not only a despicable act, if it cost this woman her life, I hope that whoever was responsible is prosecuted. If that was Christie, so be it.
If Chris Christie think he’s a filthy democrat - that he’s above the law - he’s in for a rude awakening.
How many people in the USA actually give a damn about a closed lane on some highway in New Jersey?
I live in NJ. I never want to go near that bridge. Closing a few lanes might have sped things up.
If, as Dershowitz claims, Christie could be exposed to criminal prosecution if it is determined that people were harmed by the lane closures at the GWB, then why not first mention that the members of Christie's team who we already know were responsible for the incident are exposed themselves?
The dead lady’s family has already said that closing the lanes had NOTHING to do with her death.
Deroshowitz can take a hike on this one.
I hope it didn’t. But if Christie was responsible in any way for closing the bridge, there should still be consequences.
I don’t like Christie AT ALL, but I watched his news conference and I believe him.
I detest him.
What really happened was that the facility managers shut down two of the three entrance lanes that feed onto the bridge from the local streets of Fort Lee. From what I can tell, other traffic wasn't disrupted and may have even flowed better across the bridge that day.
If there was a political side to this, it's probably driven by a long-running battle among various state transportation agencies who are trying to figure out why Fort Lee residents get three entrance lanes to the eastbound (NYC-bound) bridge, while the rest of North America -- including converging highways such as I-80, I-95, US Route 46, State Route 4, and the Palisades Parkway -- has to deal with the inevitable daily bottlenecks at the bridge.
The double standard story is coming through. Christie is out and it was just a matter of time but the story is the double standard, to some degree, anyway
He let Angela Corey bitch-slap him into the mute stage.
He if he had a pair, he would have taken her to court.
If the above from the article is untrue, then why did Christie apologize?
It is refreshing to still see a few people that wait for the answers/truth and use logic,when they come.
Democrats waste no time in getting a special prosecutor!
Notice Democrats aren’t saying this is a phoney scandal.
Who knew a traffic jam could trump Fast and Furious, Benghazi, funds and supplies to al Qaeda, members of the Muslim Brotherhood as advisors to President Obama, and a slew of other scandals?
So every time someone shuts down a lane of traffic, you can get prosecuted for “willful negligence” if someone ends up being hurt by it and they can show you could have avoided shutting down the lane?
I’ve seen accidents caused by lane closures that clearly could have been scheduled for other hours. Are all those accidents the result of “willful negligence” that could be prosecuted?
According to various recent threads, the 91-year old died on the first day of 4 days of slowdown.
MSM/Opposition Researchers/Trial Lawyers are probably going through every police/fire/EMT event during that 4-day slowdown to find anything that could be more ammunition.
This could turn into a major financial fiasco, in addition to a huge political blunder.
So if little Barry had only sent help our men in Benghazi would still be alive????
I live in New Jersey and I'm very familiar with how that bridge is configured. I find it hard to believe that anyone would look to punish an elected official in one town (Fort Lee) by blocking traffic on the busiest segment of I-95 along its entire length from Maine to Florida.
If anything, whoever orchestrated this probably did a huge favor for the rest of the public that uses the bridge but does not access it from the local Fort Lee streets.
Oddly enough, most lawyers (even a lot of shady ones) would prefer to steer clear of a lawsuit in a case like this involving a person who was 91 years old at the time of the incident. The biggest problem a plaintiff's lawyer will face is that many of the standard measures of financial loss (loss of income, impairment or loss of life activities, etc.) don't add up to a lot of money when the person is that old, has no dependents, and is no longer working. And since the person in this case is dead, there's no real "suffering" victim to trot out in front of a jury.
Dersch is correct, and the posters here who fail to see that just don’t see the legal nuance here.
The difference here was this was not mere incompetence, it was recklessness. Recklessness is sufficient to make out criminal intent.
Based on the facts, there was no gray area here where the perps could make out a claim that they were using business judgment. They left an email trail that made it clear that their intent was to punish an entire population of people to hurt a political opponent.
So — the victim (you need one as a necessary element of the crime, of course) would be any citizen who was hurt, or killed, in a way that can tied causally to the traffic problem.
Its the classic case to describe recklessness — if you (without any other defense) fire a gun into a crowded room and someone is hit and dies, you have the criminal intent sufficient for homicide even if you didn’t specifically intend to kill the specific victim.
Now I’m not recommending any of this, it’s just that Dersch is correct that a line has been crossed here, under the facts.
“So every time someone shuts down a lane of traffic, you can get prosecuted for willful negligence if someone ends up being hurt by it and they can show you could have avoided shutting down the lane?”
“Ive seen accidents caused by lane closures that clearly could have been scheduled for other hours. Are all those accidents the result of willful negligence that could be prosecuted?”
No, the difference here is the admission, on e-mail, that the intent was to harm people, and that that was the sole intent. Its the “means rea” required for a criminal charge.
So long as your intend is to hurt people (even if you say “just a little”), then you’re criminally responsible if one person gets hurt alot (ie, dies).
For clarity, per my earlier post, I’m talking about (at this point) the people under Christie who ordered the shut-down have potential criminal liability.
I know Dersch is taking it a step further and saying Christie could also be prosecuted. I don’t buy that until there is proof that he directed their actions — I will accept his position for now that he did not.
There are no impeachable offenses to charge the Communists empire with. <<
to do so would be racist!..its really that simple
That may apply to the government official who had the authority to order the shutdown of the lanes.
Not for the Governor being “negligent” in not paying appropriate attention to what the people who work for him was doing.
see my post 45. I agree, jury is still out on Christie until more facts emerge.
If there was a traffic study, the comments are an distant adjunct to it and really no evidence of a crime. One would have to prove that the interstate agency who called for the traffic study did it completely fraudulently - which is very hard to prove.
If there really wasn’t a traffic study, they have some explaining to do.
Meanwhile, Obama has put the FBI, IRS, ATF, and the EPA on a woman, destroyed her life, put her on a terrorist watch list, said her business was polluting and audited her, all because she founded a local tea party movement. Which is the worse crime, blocking traffic or using the FBI to destroy innocent lives because they do not agree with Obama politically? I’ll take the traffic. Has anyone even been investigated in IRS-Gate?
This whole swarming concern over abuse of power in the Bridge-ghazi thing is too much hypocrisy even for a political arena that is swimming in it. They strain on the gnat and swallow the camel.
He does not have direct power over the Port Authority, so it is a red herring. It would be embarrassing if he told them what to do, but since he cannot unilaterally command them to do something, he cannot be held accountable for what they do.