Barry Pollack was quoted regarding The Select Committee on Investigation's inquiry of the September closure of the George Washington Bridge, also known as "Bridgegate." Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye was scheduled to testify at the committee's fourth hearing, however testimony was postponed at the request of the U.S. attorney's office. The request may suggest that Foye has some significance in the federal probe or that there's some sensitivity surrounding his testimony, Pollack said. "No prosecution wants its witnesses' statements aired publicly, because what that does is give other witnesses the ability to shape their testimony based on what they're hearing," he said. "The prosecution wants to keep each witness fresh and get their independent recollections."
The government could be trying to avoid the headache of inconsistent statements by key witnesses in the event the investigations lead to charges and a trial. It's not necessarily a crime to give inaccurate testimony under oath, Pollack said. "To be prosecuted successfully, the prosecutor would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual knowingly and intentionally made a false statement, and that the false statement was material," he added. "The prosecutor would have to go well beyond that the statement turned out to not be accurate. The prosecutor would have to demonstrate that the statement was made with the purpose to deceive."