A new document released by a former aide to New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie in federal court, just revealed a series of text messages busting him for blatantly lying to the media about his knowledge of Bridgegate. Christie was also fibbing about his knowledge of the involvement of his campaign manager in shutting down the George Washington Bridge – without warning for several days – from Fort Lee, NJ to Manhattan timed to the start of schools after one of his deputies wrote an infamous email saying, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
Now the multi-year federal investigation is landing squarely on the amply padded lap of the man Republicans viewed as a savior in 2012 until he refused to run for President, gave a lengthy RNC speech about himself and hugged President Obama for helping cope with Superstorm Sandy, as ABC reports:
Christina Genovese Renna, a former member of Christie’s now-disbanded Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, texted as Christie spoke on Dec. 13, 2013. During the news conference, Christie denied that former campaign manager Bill Stepien closed lanes near the bridge in September 2013 as an act of political retribution.
Renna’s comments are summarized here, and you can see them in full below:
But a document filed by the defense team of former Port Authority official Bill Baroni shows that Christie’s remark prompted a flurry of text messages between his aides Christina Renna to her coworker Peter Sheridan.
RENNA: “Are you listening?” . “He just flat out lied about senior staff and Stepien not being involved.”
SHERIDAN: “Gov is doing fine. Holding his own up there”
RENNA: “Yes. But he lied. And if emails are found with the subpoena or ccfg [Chris Christie for Governor] emails are uncovered in discovery if it comes to that it could be bad.”
It’s pretty clear at this point that Chris Christie – widely known for being a bully – started the lane closures and the lies solely because the Democratic Mayor of that town of 35,000 residents refused to endorse the Republican’s re-election bid, which he won handily anyways. Ironically, Christie enraged his constituents early in his job as Governor in 2010 for refusing billions of federal dollars to build a new train tunnel under the Hudson River to ease traffic congestion, before proving his inability to govern by causing a gargantuan traffic mess himself on the George Washington Bridge.
For readers unfamiliar with the Bridgegate scandal, the New York Times has published a comprehensive timeline of the investigation and its many indictments.
Just this past June, information leaked out that Christie had used a personal email account to email political benefactor David Samson about Bridgegate, the same David Samson who recently plead guilty to federal charges. Christie’s cellphone from the time of Bridgegate went missing altogether, which isn’t surprising considering that as a former federal prosecutor, the Republican governor knows full well how difficult it is to pursue a case without all of the key evidence.
However, even the great debater Chris Christie can’t destroy eyewitness testimony backed up by contemporaneous notes and messages like the ones filed in court this week. It’s now just a matter of time before the federal Bridgegate investigation turns its sights on the top official on the job. It’s another sad day for Republicans when their toxic politics in New Jersey were allowed to triumph over the undisturbed lives of regular people whose main goal was to get to work or lead a normal life, preferably without an egomaniac politician shutting down the bridges we Americans built, and all because one small town mayor, had his own political opinions.
NEW court filing with texts between Christie aides, sent December 2013:
"Are you listening? He just flat out lied." pic.twitter.com/iqIXqD21Y2
— Matt Katz (@mattkatz00) August 10, 2016
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition