By David Cruz
Gov. Chris Christie may (or may not) be heading for a new job in the Trump administration but at least one Jersey Democrat says she’s not quite done with him yet. Sen. Loretta Weinberg — to whom Christie once famously suggested reporters take a bat — says she wants the Assembly to take a political bat to Christie. The Senate majority leader says revelations from the GWB lane scandal trial are enough to start thinking about impeachment.
“People who were found guilty said he knew. Some of his own very close people said there is talk about this; you should know about this prior to his December press conference,” she said. “You know, I can use the old saying, ‘Who are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes?’”
While there have been rumblings about impeachment, this is the first semi-official call for the action, which, by state law, must begin in the Assembly. Reaction from Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, who has scuffled with the Senate leadership over turf, came quickly.
“We are weighing all potential legislative activity,” he said in a statement, “but considering how any impeachment would involve the Senate, it’s disappointing that Sen. Weinberg made her request through a press release.”
Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald was even more direct.
“The calls for an impeachment hearing are irresponsible and a non-starter,” he said.
And that’s just the Democrats.
“I think it’s an unfortunate political ploy. I don’t understand what the end game or the purpose of doing it would be,” said Republican Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi. “We have some very heavy issues that we have to deal with and focus on — the economy, jobs, the debt, Atlantic City. I mean there are massive issues, pensions, that are currently impacting the state.”
Weinberg today submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for records of FBI and U.S. Attorney interviews with the governor regarding the GWB lane closures. She was a regular at the trial and says there’s definitely a there, there.
“I suggest to my colleagues that they read the testimony, then come back to me and tell me whether this is right or wrong. We have reason to believe that the governor of the state of New Jersey lied to the people of New Jersey,” countered Weinberg.
“Well, we know that this is just Loretta Weinberg continuing on her deep dislike for the governor,” said Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick. “It’s not a real proposal; it’s going nowhere and the Democrats don’t support it.”
For the record, Weinberg says she apologized to the speaker for the way she went about the announcement. We reached out to half a dozen Democrats on this and only one said “maybe.” The rest said it was a bad idea, suggesting that the senator’s trial balloon may have all the lift of a lead blimp.