Earlier today, Rudy Giuliani continued the Chris Christie camp's "attack the messenger" meme. On Meet the Press, Giuliani claimed that New Jersey assemblyman John Wisniewski should pull back from his leadership role in the Bridgegate investigation because he's no longer an impartial investigator.
"David, when you announce before you even investigate it you don't believe the subject of the investigation or the person who is the ultimate focus of the investigation it would seem to me the assemblyman has an ethical obligation to step down, to recuse himself," Giuliani said. "He is no longer an impartial arbiter of the facts. He has announced he doesn't believe Gov. Christie."Watch the whole thing here.
Giuliani said there is yet no evidence on the table that shows Christie is lying about his involvement in the scandal or when he became aware.
"Whether he is or isn't that's what the investigation is for," Giuliani said. "The person conducting the investigation has now announced the conclusion of the investigation - that he believes the governor is not telling the truth. He should not be handling the investigation, it gives it no sense of credibility and it clearly is a partisan witch hunt."
Giuliani went further and claimed that Christie is getting kicked up, down and sideways as part of a coordinated national Democratic effort to derail his presidential hopes. He further argued that Christie proved he is indeed presidential material with the way he is handling the affair.
Um, Rudy? You're missing a couple of points. First, there is nothing wrong with calling a spade a spade. When you've got so many senior people on Christie's staff emailing back and forth before and during the bridge closures, it's pretty hard to believe nobody told Christie about it. As Wisniewski has pointed out, this happened two months before the election, so it's hard to believe no one told Christie about it to keep him from being caught flatfooted if someone questioned him. The second point, related to the first, is that Christie doesn't look very good even if he's telling the truth. If the first he found out about his staff's involvement was when he saw The Record's story flash across his iPad, then you have a governor with a rogue staff. Sadly, David Gregory appears to believe Rudy--his first question was "Is this an even-handed approach as an investigation? Or do you think it's a political witch hunt?"
Wisniewski fired back via a statement which pointed out Republicans have praised his approach to the investigation, and joined unanimous votes to let it continue. For instance, when David Wildstein was held in contempt of Wisniewski's committee, the contempt vote was unanimous--even the Republicans joined in. That's a BFD, considering the nature of New Jersey politics. Unlike most other states, a good number of state posts are filled solely by gubernatorial appointment. Which means that a lot depends on staying in the governor's good graces. Sounds like New Jersey is one state where GOP politicians know partisanship has its limits.
3:24 PM PT: Since this made the rec list, I thought I'd mention that Gregory didn't even try to press Giuliani on whether Darrell Issa's investigations of the Benghazi deaths were also a witch hunt. So an investigation based on actual evidence of potential criminal activity is a witch hunt, but an investigation based on rumors is justified?