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Analysis: U.S. Attorney’s Trail Shows Hoboken Charges More Serious

While the Bridgegate lane closures could constitute interference with interstate commerce or violations of the Civil Rights Act, Sullivan said he “would go after creating a hazardous condition. It’s no different than if you went down there and put 55-gallon drums full of rocks in the middle of the highway and people could get run off the road. That’s official wrongdoing.”

Sullivan said the slow unfolding of the Bridgegate scandal over the past four months makes it unlikely that key principals will face indictment for lying under oath to federal law enforcement officials or the FBI. “By the time law enforcement people were doing interviews, they knew what was going on so they’re not going to get caught that way,” he said.

But Adams said the subpoenaed documents could provide invaluable evidence of a coverup.

“The coverup is always easier to prove,” Adams said. “In fact, the coverup often strengthens the prosecution’s ability to prove the original crime they are covering up because a coverup is evidence of consciousness of guilt. It’s what you do after what could have been an accident. If you hide the bloody clothes or erase documents, that is evidence of guilt. If you did nothing wrong and did not believe you had committed a crime, you wouldn’t take those steps.

“But if you know an investigation is imminent or pending and you try to cover up evidence or make sure everybody gets their stories straight, that’s evidence of guilt.” The cliché is true, Adams said: “The coverup is worse than the crime.”

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