New Jersey governor Chris Christie is on the front burner.

Caricature of Chris Christie at a podium

Developments in the Bridgegate scandal’s cavalcade of conflicts of interest.

David Wildstein wants to make a proffer and Chris Christie needs a lawyer whose name isn’t David Samson.

Wildstein has a lawyer and his name is Alan Zegas.

A proffer is a preview of what a person would testify to, if called as a witness in a legal proceeding. In other words, Wildstein wants immunity from prosecution in exchange for his cooperation and testimony against others, which presumably includes Governor Christie. To measure the value of his offer, and decide whether to accept it, a prosecutor would want to find out what he would say. That would involve an interview, which is called a proffer.

If the prosecutor decides to reject the offer to cooperate and testify against others and decides instead to prosecute the person who made the proffer, he cannot use any information disclosed during the proffer in that trial.

The New Jersey legislative committee investigating the Fort Lee lane-closure scandal, which has come to be known as Bridgegate, wanted to question David Wildstein last week about the closure in September because he is the member of the Port Authority who issued the order to close the two toll lanes at one of the toll plaza entryways to the George Washington Bridge to New York City from Fort Lee and its surrounding communities in New Jersey. The George Washington bridge is the busiest bridge in the world and the closure caused epic traffic delays that enraged commuters last September.

Wildstein appeared with his lawyer last week before the committee and refused to answer any questions on the ground that his answers might tend to incriminate him.

His lawyer announced yesterday that Wildstein is willing to talk, but only in return for immunity from prosecution.

David Wildstein, the Port Authority appointee who refused to testify last week, will talk as long as he has immunity from prosecutors and he will provide complete emails, texts and other messages related to the George Washington Bridge lane closures, his lawyer said today.

‘Based upon my many years of experience as an attorney, he would be in a position to shed significant light upon what had occurred,’ said Alan Zegas. “His information could be used to test the credibility of others.”

Mayor Dawn Zimmer met with the United States Attorney yesterday afternoon for several hours.

I would not be surprised to discover that Alan Zegas and David Wildstein are meeting with the United States Attorney today.

Chris Christie is in serious legal jeopardy.

He needs a lawyer and David Sampson cannot represent him because he has a conflict of interest. He is the chairman of the Port Authority and has been subpoenaed by a legislative committee investigating Bridgegate.

Salon reports this morning:

Subpoena targets in the New Jersey Legislature’s probes of the George Washington Bridge scandal will include the Port Authority’s chair and Gov. Christie’s next-in-line to be chief of staff, according to the New Jersey Senate’s majority leader, Loretta Weinberg.

‘What I can confirm is on the Senate side, that we will be subpoenaing documents from Mr. Samson, the chairperson of the Port Authority, from Commissioner Pat Schuber, a commissioner on the Port Authority, and from the governor’s new chief of staff [to be], Regina Egea,’ Weinberg told Salon Thursday afternoon.

This is not a matter of whether Chris Christie is a candidate for president.

It’s a matter of whether he goes to prison.

Image by DonkeyHotey released under a Creative Commons license.