U.S. Politics

Officials hate each other: 5 disturbing revelations about what’s happening inside Trump’s White House

Officials hate each other: 5 disturbing revelations about what's happening inside Trump's White House

Donald Trump at the presidential debate in Hempstead, New York, September 26, 2016. (Credit: Reuters/Carlos Barria)

SALON

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Three weeks into his administration, Donald Trump is already considering overhauling the White House. And somehow, that may not even be at the top of his (growing) list of concerns.

A galling new investigation from Politico, based on interviews with two dozen people who have spent time with Trump since the inauguration, suggests the president is completely cowed by the complexities and responsibilities of managing a federal bureaucracy, his staffers bordering on mutinous: “[It’s] a powder-keg of a workplace where job duties are unclear, morale among some is low, factionalism is rampant and exhaustion is running high.”

Here are five of the more explosive findings from its bombshell report:

1. Trump possesses a tenuous grasp of how government actually works.

“Trump often asks simple questions about policies, proposals and personnel. And, when discussions get bogged down in details, the president has been known to quickly change the subject — to “seem in control at all times,” one senior government official said — or direct questions about details to his chief strategist Steve Bannon, his son-in-law Jared Kushner or House Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump has privately expressed disbelief over the ability of judges, bureaucrats or lawmakers to delay — or even stop — him from filling positions and implementing policies.”

2. Leaks from the White House are driving him up the wall.

“The administration is considering limiting the universe of aides with access to the calls or their transcripts, said one administration official, adding that the leaks — and Trump’s anger over them — had created a climate where people are “very careful who they talk to.

[. . .]

Last week, Trump told an associate he had become weary of in-fighting among — and leaks from — his White House staff ‘because it reflects on me,’ and that he intended to sit down staffers to tell them ‘to cut this shit out.’”

3. Jared Kushner’s feud with Chris Christie is alive and well.

“Kushner, who is among Trump’s most trusted advisers, has been incensed by reports that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has ripped the White House over its implementation of Trump’s executive order restricting travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries, is telling people that he expects to enter the White House as part of a ‘second wave’ of staffers that will replace initial hires. Kushner has long had tensions with Christie — who as Attorney General of New Jersey prosecuted Kushner’s father — and played a key role in blocking him from getting a senior job in the administration.”

4. Trump can’t quit his “SNL” habit, and it’s threatening Sean Spicer’s job security.

“Trump, a voracious consumer of cable news, has been known to critique aides and surrogates for their appearances. After Spicer’s press briefings, the president has told his spokesman that he’s unhappy about specific answers or his demeanor.

The president, who is obsessive about looks and appearance, even was unhappy with a ‘Saturday Night Live’ parody of a Spicer briefing, partly because the combative press secretary was depicted by a female comedian, Melissa McCarthy. After it aired, Spicer had proposed cracking a joke about the send-up during his next briefing, or even firing a squirt gun, as McCarthy had done in the sketch. Trump vetoed the idea, according to one person briefed on the matter.”

5. Administration officials can’t stand each other, and they’re all miserable.

“Two visitors to the White House last week said they were struck by how tired the staff looks.

[. . .]

For all of Trump’s frustrations about staff drama however, it isn’t clear they’re going away any time soon. Tensions remain between the staffs of chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon. Priebus’ advisers blamed Bannon’s team for the botched rollout of the travel ban executive order, saying that they hadn’t done the needed legwork ahead of time.”

Jacob Sugarman

Read more at Politico.

U.S. Politics

‘It’s Game of Thrones, the Apprentice, and Survivor all mixed into one’

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is one among dozens of high-level Trump campaign aides and former Republican administration officials who find themselves excluded from the Trump administration but who expect their fortunes to change. | Getty

POLITICO

Republicans like Chris Christie are counting on lots of turnover in the Trump administration.

Behind closed doors, Chris Christie — unceremoniously sent packing from Donald Trump’s transition headquarters in Washington two months ago — is telegraphing a message to his confidants: I’ll be back.

The hard-charging New Jersey governor is playing the long game, betting that Trump’s senior aides and Cabinet nominees, nearly all of whom lack governing experience, will face unexpected challenges when they settle into the West Wing. Christie turned down several offers to join the Trump administration when he was denied the attorney general post, but he has told associates he expects Trump to turn people like him — seasoned lawmakers and political hands — if and when the neophytes begin to flounder.

Christie is one among dozens of high-level Trump campaign aides and former Republican administration officials who find themselves excluded from the Trump administration — for now — but who expect their fortunes to change.

These Republicans expect the stringent loyalty tests imposed by the transition team to relax over time, and many are already talking about a “second wave” of aides and staffers that is likely to replace the volatile or inexperienced loyalists Trump has tapped.

“There’s waves in everything,” said one senior transition aide. “There’s waves in campaigns. There was [Corey] Lewandowski. Then, there was Paul Manafort. Then, there was [David] Bossie, [Stephen] Bannon, and Kellyanne [Conway]. That’s how Trump operates. It’s ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘The Apprentice’ and ‘Survivor’ all mixed into one.”

Many predict that Trump will govern in the haphazard way he campaigned, when he burned through three campaign managers over the course of 16 months. He has already created competing power centers in the West Wing, with incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner working essentially as equals.

With that in mind, a Christie ally said the New Jersey governor, who visited Trump Tower last week, has maintained a relationship with Trump even after his dismissal and that the two have spoken “a bunch” over the past several weeks.

“I think he’s one who feels that there will be a good amount of turnover, and so Trump will be looking for a range of different people and talents as time goes on,” said one New Jersey GOP insider.

A second senior transition aide cast doubt on on the idea that Christie would land in the Trump administration, saying strains between the governor and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, the force behind Christie’s firing, would prevent his return.

In the White House, staff shakeups, even those in which aides loyal to the president are replaced with veteran government operators, are not unusual. The first year of a presidency is often defined by domestic and foreign crises that test the mettle of presidential staffers, some of whom invariably flounder. Early in his presidency, Bill Clinton replaced his first White House chief of staff, Mack McLarty, with Leon Panetta, then serving as director of the Office of Management and Budget. McLarty and Clinton had been kindergarten classmates in Arkansas, but McLarty’s dismissal in mid-1994 was the start of a trend that saw longtime Clinton allies replaced by those with deeper government experience.

“It happens in every administration. Tthere are a lot of people who turn out to be bad appointments at various levels, they wash out, and then you get a second wave coming in,” said Eric Edelman, who served as undersecretary of defense for policy in the George W. Bush administration.

Trump’s combustible management style is only one factor that has many predicting the trend will be exacerbated under a President trump. There’s also a deep pool of talent that has been blacklisted from the initial group of administration hires — members of the Republican foreign policy elite who signed one of a series of letters saying Trump’s presidency would put the country’s national security at risk and that they would not vote for him.

As a result, Trump transition aides have essentially banned any signatory from serving in the administration. Senior jobs at the State and Defense departments remain vacant as the search for suitable candidates continues.

Even friends of the signatories, like John Hannah — who served as a national security adviser to former vice president Dick Cheney and whom transition aides are considering for a job in the administration — have been tainted in the process, according to a source familiar with the proceedings. Other national security experts who signed the letters have even been prevented from briefing incoming administration officials, according to the same source.

But most expect the ideological litmus test to relax as the White House Office of Presidential Personnel replaces the transition team. “The idea that you would blackball people completely and not draw on these folks is unusual,” said Edelman, who signed a letter in August warning that Trump would be “the most reckless president in American history.” “It has usually relaxed because of the process of having to replace people. There’s this idea that anybody can do these jobs. Actually, the number of people who have the background, the temperament, the subject matter expertise, is narrower than you would think, and as you go higher up the pyramid, the numbers drop dramatically.”

“I think a year or so down the road, and everybody’s been in the government for a year, and what you did during the election campaign is going to be a lot less important,” said another former Bush administration national security official.

In selecting his Cabinet, Trump has leaned heavily so far on those with deep experience in the private sector but little or no experience in government. Six of the 14 Cabinet nominees he has announced — including his nominee for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Treasury secretary nominee and hedge fund manager Steven Mnuchin, and private equity titan Wilbur Ross, nominated to lead the Department of Commerce — have no experience in government. (Trump has yet to name a nominee to run the Department of Agriculture.)

Though wildly successful in their respective industries, private-sector success has not historically correlated with success in government, adding another potential element of instability to the incoming administration. George W. Bush’s first Treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, had served a successful 12-year tenure as CEO of Alcoa before he came to Washington. But his focus on workplace safety at the expense of fiscal policy put him at loggerheads with the Bush administration, and he was cast aside after two years. Robert Rubin, on the other hand, ran the Treasury Department for Bill Clinton with great success after spending a quarter-century at Goldman Sachs.

The upshot: “Private sector success is not necessarily a guarantee of government success. The record of people transitioning from the C-suite to the Cabinet is decidedly mixed. Some of his appointments are likely to be a terrific success and some are likely to end up in ugly failure,” said one former Bush administration official, who requested anonymity because he is under consideration for positions in the Trump administration.

The average life span of a Cabinet secretary in any administration is about two years. The turnover “is going to be higher this time around, in all probability,” said Edelman.

U.S. Politics

Report: Manafort Faked Plane Problem to Get Trump to Avoid Picking Christie for VP

 

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Screencap

MEDIAITE

According to New York Post, Donald Trump came very close picking New Jersey governor Chris Christie for his running mate, but his campaign manager intervened before the mogul made his choice.

Christie was Trump’s rival before backing his White House run, and he stood next to Mike Pence and Newt Gingrich as the mogul’s top choices for vice-president. According to the Post, Christie was Trump’s tentative first choice, even though numerous top aides were more in favor of Pence.

“Trump cares about who’s the most loyal and who kisses his a** the most, not who’s the most qualified and what’s the best political decision,” said the Post‘s unnamed source. “If it was up to him, it would have been Christie.”

Paul Manafort was still running the Trump campaign during this period, and it would seem he orchestrated events so that Trump would meet with Pence. Back in July, Manafort reportedly told Trump that his plane was having a malfunction that would require them to stay in Indianapolis overnight, which led to an unscheduled dinner with the Indiana governor.

“Trump had wanted Christie, but Bridgegate would have been the biggest national story,” another source said. “He’d lose the advantage of not being corrupt.”

Reports at the time suggested that Trump went through a period of great uncertainty and reluctance about choosing Pence for his number two spot. Nonetheless, the Post reports that Trump called Christie after his dinner with Pence, and told the governor about his decision.

U.S. Politics

Trump Plans To Steal The Spotlight Back With Cabinet Announcements

STEVE HELBER/ASSOCIATED PRESS

THE HUFFINGTON POST

The presumptive GOP nominee loves to make a huge splash in the news, but his VP announcement failed to deliver.

WASHINGTON ― Frustrated at the lack of enthusiasm for his vice presidential pick Mike Pence, Donald Trump is now telling those close to him that he wants a do-over of sorts, which he aims to get by rolling out the names of potential cabinet members, a source who spoke to Trump told The Huffington Post.

Trump was disappointed with the rollout of Pence, and the reaction to him, on several levels. He was first piqued that the news leaked before he’d gotten around to telling the runners-up, Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie, about his choice. He then had second thoughts, postponed the announcement and spent Thursday night trying to find a way to back out of his choice, according to multiple news reports and the source close to Trump.

Trump sees Pence as a politically safe but unexciting choice, the source said. When non-politicians fantasize about running for president, they delight in imagining the unorthodox, thrilling running mate they might choose. For Trump to have ended up paired with such a standard pol, after a year of violating every campaign norm in the book, must be a major letdown.

Multiple sources say that Trump wants to name Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, as his attorney general, although knowing Trump, he could change his mind at any moment. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law who plays a major role in the campaign, fought against Christie as a VP pick, as reported this week by HuffPost blogger Laura Goldman and later corroborated elsewhere.

Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, whom Trump at one point floated as a potential VP, will surely be on the short list for defense secretary, unless of course Kid Rock makes himself available.

Ryan Grim

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar,rampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.

U.S. Politics

Chris Christie never turned in cell phone during ‘Bridgegate’ investigation: feds

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on ABC's This Week - ABC screenshot

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on ABC’s This Week – ABC screenshot

RAW STORY

What happened to Christie’s Bridgegate cell phone?

TRENTON —  What happened to the cell phone Gov.  Chris Christie was using during the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge is becoming a crucial part of the criminal defense of a key Bridgegate defendant.

During a Monday afternoon Statehouse press conference, the governor told reporters it “doesn’t matter to me” if defense attorneys for Bill Baroni, the federally indicted former appointee to the Port Authority, get access to the phone, which Christie said he’d turned over to federal investigators two years ago.

“It’s in the hands of the government,” said Christie. “As far as I know. I don’t know exactly who has it. But I turned it over in response to a request from the government, as I said I would. They have the information, they’re more than welcome to it.”

But the office of U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman has never actually had the phone, according to a spokesman.

“The governor’s telephone was never in the possession of federal authorities,” wrote Matthew Reilly, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in an email to NJ Advance Media on Monday.

“As is typical in grand jury investigations, where an institution is represented by outside counsel, those lawyers review records, including those contained on mobile phones and computers, to identify and provide material that is responsive to subpoenas. That procedure was followed in this case.”

Baroni, Christie’s former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is under federal indictment on nine counts of conspiracy, fraud and other charges related to the improper lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in 2013.

Last week, Baroni’s lawyer Michael Baldassare subpoenaed the governor’s Bridgegate smartphone, which was among the items reviewed by Christie administration’s lawyers at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher to prepare a report that exonerated the governor of any wrongdoing in the lane closures.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher was  paid $8 million to investigate if Christie played a part in the lane closures, ultimately finding that he “played no role” in the Bridgegate scandal.

Christie to Iowans: Bridgegate ‘not a murder’

Hours after Baldassare filed a formal request seeking access to the governor’s cell phone last week, Gibson, Dunn filed a motion to quash his subpoena.

“Last Thursday, Gibson Dunn made the unbelievable claim that the prosecutors never even asked for the governor’s phone,” said Baldassare. “Based on what the governor said today, we expect Gibson Dunn to give up the phone and stop trying to keep it hidden.”

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher principal Randy Mastro, a former federal prosecutor who authored the firm’s report exonerating the governor, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

On Monday, Chrisite described the dispute over access to the phone “a fight between prosecutors and defense attorneys.”

“Having been U.S. Attorney, I wouldn’t appreciate it if a politician got into that fight,” said Christie, who was the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey from 2002 through 2009.  “And you can be damn sure I’m not going to. It’s between them and the U.S. Attorney.”

Brian Murray, a spokesman for the office of the governor, said in an email that “The governor’s phone was reviewed by lawyers and any documents responsive to any of the government’s several subpoenas were already produced to the government.”

The attorneys are seeking a hearing on June 6 to argue the question before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton.

Last December, Wigenton issued a ruling  sharply criticizing Gibson, Dunn for intentionally failing to preserve documentation of the more than 70 interviews it conducted in preparing its Bridgegate report.

“The taxpayers of the State of New Jersey paid [Gibson Dunn] millions of dollars to conduct a transparent and thorough investigation. What they got instead was opacity and gamesmanship,” Wigenton wrote. “They deserve better.”

Claude Brodesser-Akner

U.S. Politics

WATCH: Christie Gets Defensive About His Support For Trump On Jimmy Fallon

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YouTube

TPM LIVEWIRE

Christie was repeatedly pressed by host Jimmy Fallon to defend his support for the bombastic GOP presidential frontrunner, and to explain his awkward stone-faced appearance at Trump’s side during Trump’s Super Tuesday victory speech.

“You look like you were having a blast,” Fallon said sarcastically. “Were you being held hostage at this time?”

“This is what you would look like if you were standing behind Jay Leno when he was doing his monologue,” Christie said, prompting groans from the crowd.

“If you’re used to talking, it’s awkward not to talk,” he continued. “So if you’re standing there, I’m listening.”

After Fallon pulled out a cardboard cutout of Christie and positioned it behind Christie’s shoulder, the New Jersey governor maintained that it was not “distracting” and instead cut a “serious” figure.

Christie tried to keep the mood light, joking that he would have supported Fallon had he run for president, but got few laughs from the audience.

Watch the interview below.

U.S. Politics

Vox Sentences: “My party has gone bat**** crazy”

The dream team

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

VOX

Dylan Matthews and Dara Lind.

U.S. Politics

JESUS H. CHRISTIE

THE HUFFINGTON POST

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

WHAT HAPPENED? Christie Was Once A Fighter Of Anti-Muslim Bigotry…BIGOT BRIGADE: LePage Signs On With Trump… PANIC: Conservative Donors Eye Independent Bid To Thwart Trump… OR: Wall Of Resistance To Trump Begins To Crack… Rubio Pulls A Trump, Suggests He Wet His Pants… ‘Choker’ Takes On ‘Con Artist’… NBC: Only 2 Possible Outcomes – Trump Wins Nomination, Or A Contested Convention… Trump Vows To Make It Easier To Sue News Orgs… Trump’s Fatal Flaw Exposed… HIGHLIGHTS…

U.S. Politics

Christie Calls Obama A ‘Feckless Weakling,’ Internet Responds With A Brutal Reminder For Him

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 15: Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

ADDICTING INFO

During CNN’s Republican debate, Chris Christie hoped to pull his dismal poll numbers out of the gutter by attacking President Obama. In typical Christie fashion, he did so in the most disgusting, unpresidential way possible. Thankfully, the internet is here to remind Christie that not only was his attack on Obama pathetic, but he’s also a raging hypocrite.

Christie – who currently polls within the statistical margin of error – suggested he would be a stronger president than Obama because he would be willing to start a world war by shooting down a Russian plane in Syria. For the Republican crowd, war-mongering stood in place of sound foreign policy. Taking things a step further, however, Christie also took a cheap shot at the president.

“Maybe because I’m from New Jersey I have this plain-language hang-up. I would talk to Vladmir Putin a lot, and I’d say listen, Mr. President, there’s a no-fly zone and it applies to you and yes we’d shoot down the planes of Russian pilots if they were stupid enough to think that this president was the same feckless weakling that the president we have in the Oval Office is right now.”

One might think that calling the sitting president a “feckless weakling” would be taboo, even for the Republican crowd, but here we are.

While an attack such as that would be pathetic coming from anyone, the idea that Christie would go there is particularly galling for one obvious reason: Just three years ago, when Christie needed Obama’s help after New Jersey had been devastated by Hurricane Sandy and the Republican Party had turned their backs on the state (including some members sharing the debate stage with him), President Obama came through in a big way. Christie, and the entire state of New Jersey, praised Obama for his leadership.

Here’s how the Washington Post described Christie’s praise of Obama in 2012:

Here’s how the Washington Post described Christie’s praise of Obama in 2012:

But no photo opp in the world can top the praise of a job well done that comes from an affected, outspoken governor from the other party. In comments that perfectly encapsulated not only the severity of the storm but the divisiveness of our national politics and the bluntness of the speaker, New Jersey governor Chris Christie—primetime GOP convention speaker and frequent campaign surrogate for Mitt Romney—heaped praise on Obama’s initial reaction to the storm.

Christie told news outlets that the president’s response had been “outstanding,” said that coordinating with the administration had been “wonderful,” and remarked that “the president has been all over this and he deserves great credit.” He even told Fox News the president had done a “great job for New Jersey.”

Needless to say, not everyone has forgotten Obama’s outstanding actions in the middle of that crisis and the internet let Christie know it.

Many people also noted how astoundingly disrespectful it was to slander the president just because your political campaign is withering on the vine.

cHRISTIE

It was certainly a surprise to see that on a stage with Donald Trump, Chris Christie managed to come across as the biggest asshole of the night. It’s both impressive and sad at the same time.

U.S. Politics

Hypocrite Chris Christie Caught Hiding 10,000 Emails From Federal Investigators

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attribution: NONE

OCCUPY DEMOCRATS

New Jersey Governor and longshot Republican presidential candidate spent most his time at the last kid’s table debate ripping on Hillary Clinton, raising the specter of the fabricated “email server” scandal to hide his inability to provide answers to a question about raising interest rates, but distracting the audience with tales of how his abrasive and crude personality would somehow defeat the Democratic front-runner and former Secretary of State: “She doesn’t want one minute on that stage with me next September when I’m debating her and prosecuting her for her vision for America.”

Which is all very ironic since it is now Chris Christie who is in hot water – for some very real crimes. You may recall the“Bridgegate” scandal of a few years ago, where Chris Christie used his powers as governor to shut down the busiest bridge in the world in order to punish his constituents for voting against him. Shortly afterward, the Department of Justice opened an investigation to prosecute Christie for his vision of governance, which includes embezzling taxpayer funds and awarding no-bid contracts to family members. The icing on the cake is the fact that just hours after the debate, prosecuting lawyers filed briefs accusing Christie and his cronies of “inappropriately” hiding documents:

Among the hidden documents, the lawyers say, are emails to and from the governor’s personal and work email accounts and a calendar entry from the week when an order was delivered to close lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013. All told, Christie’s taxpayer-funded attorneys at the Gibson Dunn law firm have withheld or redacted 9,428 emails and other documents. 

At least 16 of those emails were sent from top Christie aides to former Port Authority appointee David Wildstein, who pleaded guilty in May to felony corruption charges for the politically-motivated lane closures, and Bill Baroni, the former top Port official who has pleaded not guilty in the case. 

While it has been proven again and again that Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server did not constitute any wrongdoing, the case is very different for Mr. Christie. The improper closure of the bridge resulted in massive traffic gridlock, causing the death of a 91-year-old woman (cardiac arrest) in an ambulance and forcing “ambulance attendants to leave their vehicles and respond to an emergency on foot because traffic was so bad.” On top of all this, a recent ethics and integrity study gave the state of New Jersey a grade of D+ and found a plethora of “journalists, advocates and academics [who] have accused the Christie administration of fighting and delaying potentially damaging public records requests and meddling in the affairs of the State Ethics Commission.”

It’s very clear that the corruption in New Jersey stems from the Governor’s office. Chris Christie has no grounds to be accusing anyone of unethical conduct, since his entire governorship has come to be defined by shady practices and politically motivated retribution. Justice is finally coming for Mr. Christie and his associates. His comeuppance is long overdue.

Here are the other allegations filed in the briefs, courtesy of WNYC-NEWS:

*David Wildstein removed Bill Baroni’s (former top Port Authority official) hard drive from the Port Authority offices and took it home with him after he was fired in December 2013, though he left his own family photos at his desk.

*Christie’s former campaign manager, Stepien, passed along at least two emails to Christie from [former Port Authority appointee David Wildstein, who has plead guilty], one concerning the meetings with Fulop, the other regarding the New Jersey Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association’s decision not to endorse Christie for re-election.

*Federal prosecutors have turned over 1.7 million documents in a form that isn’t searchable. The lawyers estimate it would take three attorneys three years to read all the documents in that form.

*Citing the case’s intense media coverage and potentially tainted jury pool, Baroni wants a federal judge to move the trial to another venue. It’s scheduled to begin in April in Newark.

*Critchley, [sacrificial lamb and former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly]’s attorney, alleges that Christie’s lawyers at the Gibson Dunn firm tried to “destroy” notes of interviews their lawyers did with Christie and other administration officials.

*A lawyer for Phil Kwon, a Port Authority lawyer and one-time Christie nominee to the state Supreme Court, has told federal authorities that he has information related to Bridgegate, according to Critchley.

*Wildstein was apparently cooperating with federal authorities early on in the case in 2014, getting interviewed by investigators at least four times.

*Unlike governors in other states, Christie keeps his meeting calendars secret. But Baroni’s attorney revealed a redacted copy of the governor’s calendar from the week in August 2013 when the “time for some traffic problems” email was sent. It shows a meeting with lobbyist Jeff Michaels, whose brother was a police lieutenant at the Port Authority who allegedly helped Wildstein execute the lane closures. It also shows phone calls with Neil Bush, brother of Jeb and George W. Bush, and Michelle Rhee, the controversial school reform leader.

H/t: DB