With the release of hundreds of documents by the state of New Jersey in the Chris Christie bridge scandal, the extent of the massive cover-up of the lane closures is beginning to take shape.
Here’s the latest, via The Washington Post:
–The emails confirm that the so-called “traffic study” was fabricated as a cover for the lane closures. Weirdly, the study’s hastily constructed goal was to find out whether closing two of the three toll lanes would “improve traffic.” The conclusion of the study? “TBD” or “to be determined.” I would suggest a more appropriate conclusion: “F**k no!”
–Christie met with David Samson, who Christie appointed as the Port Authority chairman, one week before deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly wrote her infamous “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email to David Wildstein.
–Christie’s hand-picked cronies at the Port Authority, Baroni and Wildstein, went to great lengths to stonewall other Port Authority officials, specifically officials appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), as well as the press.
–When Patrick Foye, the Cuomo-appointed Port Authority executive director, unilaterally reopened the lanes after complaining to Baroni about the possibly illegal lane closures (both at the state and federal levels) and that there needs to be “public discourse” on the matter, Baroni wrote to Foye: “There can be no public discourse.”
–Later, a Wall Street Journal reporter contacted Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman. Coleman then wrote to Wildstein about the reporter’s questions. Instead of responding to the WSJ reporter, Wildstein wrote to Baroni about the email, saying, “I call bullshit on this.”
–More emails about curious reporters flooded various inboxes. At one point, Samson wrote to Wildstein and asked, “Has any thought been given to writing an op-ed or providing a statement about the GWB study? Or is the plan just to hunker down and grit our way through it?” Wildstein’s answer? “Yes and yes.” So, no, there would be no contact with the press about the growing scandal.
–Unrelated to the cover-up but still newsworthy, Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich alerted the Port Authority that a rescue ambulance had to be abandoned and the EMT workers were forced to respond to the emergency on foot. The plot should never have been executed in the first place, but upon hearing this news, Christie’s cronies should’ve immediately reopened the lanes and ended their sick little game. They didn’t.
All in all, this was after the release of just one trove of documents. It’s obvious that as time goes on there will be more extensive details revealed. Additionally, Christie is set to deliver his state-of-the-state address this week, followed by a special session of the New Jersey legislature. The ride has only just begun.