News & Politics

SMOKING GUN: Emails Tie Top Christie Aide to New Jersey Lane Closing Scandal

'Time for some traffic problems,' staffer said in leaked email.

A series of documents has revealed that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was closely involved in the controversial lane closings on the New Jersey side of George Washington Bridge in September, despite the governor denying involvement, NY Times reported.

Top aide, Bridget Anne Kelly sent emails to an executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey saying it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” to which the executive responded “Got it,” leading to an overwhelming traffic gridlock lasting four days, Wall Street Journal reported.

The email exchange, which was subpoenaed from the authority as part of a Democrat-led investigation into the incident, is the strongest sign that the traffic blockages were carried out at request of Christie’s administration and a far cry away from Christie’s original explanation that they were part of a traffic study.

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Democrats claim the lane closures were done out of retribution against the Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, who had previously refused to endorse Christie for re-election as governor, WSJ reported.

While there is not yet evidence that Christie himself directly participated, it is clear that many of his senior members of administration were involved, calling into question his political and ethical motivations.

The scandal has thrown Christie under the spotlight and has the potential to rock his reputation, particularly as he has previously been viewed as a prime candidate in the Republican presidential run in 2016.

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Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.