By Pat Loeb

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Rhetoric has escalated over the politically motivated lane-closing of the George Washington Bridge (read related story), with a New Jersey lawmaker calling it “a crime.”

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The comment came on Sunday from the Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski who is leading the investigation into the incident.

Wisniewski said using the George Washington Bridge, a public resource, for political payback, a private use, violates federal and state laws.

Speaking with CBS’s Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation, Wisniewski stressed it is early in the investigation and there is still no evidence that Governor Chris Christie knew about lane closures, though he added he finds it hard to believe the governor was in the dark.

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“His chief counsel knew, his deputy chief of staff knew, his incoming chief of staff knew,” Wisniewski said. “It just strains credibility that they didn’t look at those documents and say, ‘we ought to let him know about it.'”

Wisniewski said he’ll subpoena those aides, including those Christie fired last week when he said he learned of their involvement in the September closures for the first time.

A Christie ally, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said he finds Christie’s claim of ignorance “pretty darn credible.”

“This has happened to many presidents,” Giuliani said during an interview with ABC News, “many governors, (and) many mayors.”

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