Subpoenas, FBI Interrogations and Plunging Ratings: Updates on the Chris Christie Scandal
Another day, another round of bad news for Gov. Chris Christie. So it goes for the GOP’s one-time presidential frontrunner, who has seen his political stock tumble from absurd heights back to the realm of the mortal and, potentially, down further still. Hard times in Trenton — and Thursday’s news portends that, bad as they are already for Christie, things may be about to get a whole lot worse.
Here’s what you should know:
- On January 23, the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey, which is conducting an ongoing investigation into the Bridgegate affair, subpoenaed documents from Christie’s reelection campaign as well as from the New Jersey Republican State Committee. This means that Team Christie has been subpoenaed three times — twice by the U.S. Attorney, and once by New Jersey’s state legislature.
- Also on January 23, it was reported that the F.B.I. has begun questioning witnesses involved in Christie’s other major ongoing scandal, the accusation by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that the Christie administration threatened to withhold Superstorm Sandy relief funds until she approved a private development deal the governor favored.
- As quietly as possible, Trenton announced it had ended its relationship with a contractor hired to rebuild homes that have been destroyed or damaged by Superstorm Sandy.
- It wasn’t all bad news for Christie on the 23rd: A CBS report found a majority of respondents — 53 percent — saying that the Bridgegate scandal has not changed their view of Christie. (It should be noted that only 58 percent of respondents said they had heard “at least something” about Bridgegate.)
- But that wasn’t the only polling about Christie that came to light on Thursday. A Rutgers-Eagleton poll found Christie’s once-stratospheric favorability rating had plunged in the wake of Bridgegate. Since last November, Christie’s favorability has dive-bombed some 19 points.
- Not everyone is hating on Christie, though. A Politico report from the Republican National Committee meeting in Washington, D.C. found most GOP operatives and attendees sounding cautiously optimistic that their “tier 1″ candidate would survive Bridgegate. (They didn’t have much to say about the Hoboken investigation, however.)
- Similarly, a report from Time said that the GOP establishment is, for now, sticking by its man.