The documents obtained by The Record 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. – Emails link top Christie aide to GWB lane-closing controversy
AFTER REPEATED denials that no one on his staff or 2012 campaign were involved in the bridge closings that snarled traffic on the George Washington Bridge into New York City, proof has been found by The Record that Gov. Chris Christie’s close aides, campaign staff and leading New Jersey Republicans were directly involved.
The New York Times has posted some emails between Christie’s top staff and the Port Authority executives.
One of Christie’s senior aides, Bridget Anne Kelly, “was involved in the planning and received updates during the week of the traffic jams.” More from NorthJersey.com:
“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.”
Other top Christie associates mentioned in or copied on the email chain, all after the top New York appointee at the authority ordered the lanes reopened, include David Samson, the chairman of the agency; Bill Stepien, Christie’s re-election campaign manager and the newly appointed state GOP chairman; and Michael Drewniak, Christie’s spokesman.
When The Record’s Road Warrior columnist John Cichowski went to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top executive, Pat Foye, and started asking questions, it was the first Cuomo’s office had heard of what was going on and immediately they reacted to open the lanes, which came four days after the closings. According to reports, Fort Lee officials weren’t notified before the closings, and commuters weren’t given fair warning either. But inside New Jersey, people were getting pissed.
Once the Wall Street Journal got wind of what was becoming a much talked about story, it seems that Christie’s people started to panic.
David Wildstein, a top Christie executive at the Port Authority, resigned earlier over the building noise over the closures.
How Gov. Chris Christie handles this widening scandal may not matter for Republican primary voters in Iowa or South Carolina, but for someone who has been a darling of the establishment media, it could change the color of Christie’s coverage and follow him into any potential 2016 bid for the presidency.