Assembly Republicans are tired of the shenanigans surrounding the newly formed Select Committee on Investigation (SCI), Save Jerseyans, and two veteran legislation are calling for its chairman to step aside from his new position.
“Assembly Republicans warned last week of the dangers of how this special committee was established,” Assembly GOP Whip Scott Rumana declared on Sunday. “As long as one individual is charged with all of the committee’s investigating powers and controls all the information, the public will lose confidence in this investigation. My sense is as long as Chairman Wisniewski leads this investigation alone, every finding will be questioned.”
The Committee’s initial hearing last Thursday was an absolute circus, drawing heavy criticism from its own members. Unbelievably, Wisniewski led the charge to block an amendment which would’ve ensured equal access to evidence by all committee members.
Ranking GOP member Michael Patrick Carroll told Save Jersey on Thursday evening that “[we] are not prosecutors and lack the right to punish wrongdoing. So, if there are credible allegations of wrongdoing, those should, in the first instance, be investigated by the officers with the authority to address crimes or ethical violations. It is not clear to me what it is that we hope to learn, and to what legislative use we might put the information.”
Carroll’s colleagues concur. “From the very start, we have pressed for a fair, impartial and bipartisan investigation,” said Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin in a Sunday afternoon release. “By his words and actions, Wisniewski has resisted every effort to ensure this process will be credible and transparent.”
“In his mind, he has already completed this investigation even before it starts, and will attempt to use his committee to prove his conclusion,” he continued. “This should be more than enough to disqualify him from heading up the investigation.”
Former prosecutor and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani announced on Sunday’s Meet the Press his belief that the legislative investigation is mutating into a “partisan witch hunt” and that Wisniewski has “already announced the conclusion of the investigation” and “has an ethical obligation to step down.”
We can all agree on one thing, folks, regardless of party affiliation or how we feel towards Chris Christie: Bridgegate is serious business. There’s consequently no room for the base species of partisanship which Asm. Wisniewski, a former Democrat state party chair, and his ilk are trying to inject into the inquiry.
It’s time for him to step aside and let an adult lead the legislative investigation.