I don’t know if Guadagno’s statement this morning fully qualifies as the kind of full-throated, but specific-lacking non-denial denial that the Nixon White House fired out whenever Woodward and Bernstein or Sy Hersh broke a story tightening Nixon’s noose. But what Guadagno said this morning absolutely requires parsing. Particularly for what she did not say. Via CNN:
“Mayor Zimmer’s version of our conversation in May of 2013 is not only false but illogical and does not withstand scrutiny when all of the facts are examined.” Guadagno
“Mayor Zimmer’s version”: Guadagno does not deny that the conversation takes place, only Zimmer’s interpretation of that convo. But what she did not say: What that convo was actually about, what she said to Zimmer, whether the Rockefeller Group development was mentioned.
What else didn’t Guadagno say? Follow me below the fold…
Guadagno took no questions: Possibly significant. The impression is that the Christie front office didn’t think the LG’s statement would stand up to press questions, or that she would stray off carefully worded talking points.
Parse this: “The suggestion that anyone would hold back Sandy relief funds for any reason is wholly and completely false.” Yes, that is offensive. But the allegation isn’t that “anyone” did that, but that she (Guadagno) did that. Interesting that she would phrase it the way she did.
Invoking Sandy/Guadagno as “victim”:Guadagno, in Union Beach where Christie has great PR, spoke surrounded by Sandy-affected mayors, about how Sandy damaged her home. And that “makes the mayors allegations particularly offensive to me.”
As if what is offensive personally to Guadagno is the point. Which it is not.
Meandering to unrelated stuff: After a firmly enunciated rebuttal, Guadagno meanders into things that have nothing to do with Hoboken’s allegations; creation of jobs in Hoboken (and all over New Jersey), how many times she’s visited Hoboken (13), filling empty buildings in Hoboken, and that she thought she had a good relationship with Zimmer (before this).
It now becomes clear that LG Guadagno, Christie’s DCA Commissioner Richard Constable and possibly others may have to testify under oath. Will they repeat their claims that Zimmer is lying? Zimmer’s already spoken to the U.S. Attorney’s office; it would have been a crime for her to lie to federal investigators she spoke to on Sunday. If Guadagno and others in Christie’s inner sanctum have to testify, will they repeat their stories? Or will they change their story in a federal investigation platform where not telling the truth is a crime?
Let the investigations continue. All of them. Until all the questions are answered.