The Bridgegate investigation is fully underway, and it’s first target folded and proved what we knew all along: Chris Christie knew about the closing of the George Washington Bridge lanes, and it was in fact an act of political retaliation. David Wildstein, formerly of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and a longtime friend to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy and was released on $100,000 bond. Two more of the key officials, Bill Baroni and Briget Ann Kelly, were also charged with nine counts including ““knowingly converting and intentionally misapplying property of an organization receiving federal benefits.”
Wildstein admitted under oath that the September 2013 closing of three lanes of the George Washington Bridge was a petulant act of political revenge against the Democratic Mayor of Fort Lee, on the other side of the bridge. The week-long closing of the toll lanes was done without informing anyone at all, even emergency response services, which endangered lives, and in general created massive inconvenience for thousands of people, all just to spite a political opponent. It was an astonishingly egotistical act of petty revenge that was most probably ordered by Christie himself.
The Christie Administration tried to cover it up with a fake story about a “traffic study” that was proven false very quickly, and New Jersey Attorney General Paul J Fishman said “that the conspirators ‘callously victimized’ the citizens of Fort Lee, purposely scheduling the lane-closing plan to coincide with the first day of school.”
On May 1st, Wildstein’s attorney, Alan Zegas, declared that “Mr. Christie knew of the lane closures while they were happening.” Christie’s administration has fervently denied all involvement, which either makes him a liar or so grossly incompetent that his own subordinates played havoc with public safety for their own motives. Christie has a long history of corruption and generally behaving like a bully, and he is perfectly willing to let his cronies take the fall while he considers a presidential run. America cannot let a man like this get anywhere near the White House. He would turn Washington into his own personal playground.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.