Documents Directly Implicate Christie, Aide In ‘Bridgegate’ Scandal
By D.B. Hirsch
January 8, 2014 9:56 am - NewsBehavingBadly.com
The big question: just how could he not have known what his aides were doing? NorthJersey.com breaks some jaw-dropping news about the “Bridgegate” scandal with a revelation that puts New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and one of his most senior aides at the helm of the scandal:
A cache of private messages between Governor’s Christie’s deputy chief of staff and his two top executives at the Port Authority reveal a vindictive effort to create “traffic problems in Fort Lee,” apparent pleasure at the resulting gridlock, and insults used to refer to the borough’s mayor, who had failed to endorse Christie for re-election.
The documents obtained by The Record also raise serious doubts about months of claims by the Christie administration that the September closures of local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were part of a traffic study initiated solely by the Port Authority. Instead, they show that one of the governor’s top aides was deeply involved in the decision to choke off the borough’s access to the bridge, and they provide the strongest indication yet that it was part of a politically-motivated vendetta—a notion that Christie has publicly denied.
“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Bridget Anne Kelly, one of three deputies on Christie’s senior staff, wrote to David Wildstein, a top Christie executive at the Port Authority, on Aug. 13, about three weeks before the closures. Wildstein, the official who ordered the closures and who resigned last month amid the escalating scandal, wrote back: “Got it.”
Christie has previously said that no one in his staff or campaign was involved in the lane closings, and he has dismissed questions about political retribution by joking that he moved the traffic cones himself.
But the private messages, mostly sent through personal e-mails accounts, indicate that Kelly, a senior staff member in the governor’s office, was involved in the planning and received updates during the week of the traffic jams. She was also informed that week that Christie’s executives at the Port Authority were ignoring the Fort Lee mayor’s desperate attempts to get a reason for the sudden unannounced closures, as the borough’s first responders struggled to respond to emergencies and buses arrived late on the first day of school.