Ever since ‘Bridgegate’ became a public scandal associated with Chris Christie, he has steadfastly denied he knew anything about the lane closures. He said he did not authorize them or approve them. He said he only became aware of it after he read about the lanes reopening in a Wall Street Journal story.
Asked about it at the time on local radio program, this is what Christie said:
“Let’s make one thing clear right off the bat which I think is the most important issue and the most important issue is: Did I know anything about a plan to close these lanes?” Christie said on the monthly radio program “Ask the Governor” on New Jersey’s 101.5 FM.
“Did I authorize it? Did I know about it? Did I approve it? Did I have any knowledge of it beforehand? And the answer is still the same, it’s unequivocally no,” he said.
Federal prosecutors are singing a different tune. Not only did Christie know, they’re claiming he knew about it as it was happening:
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey knew that his close associates were involved in a plan to shut down lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge as it was happening and that the closings were intended to punish a local mayor for declining to support him, prosecutors said on Monday.
It was the first time Mr. Christie, a Republican, has been accused of knowing about the scheme as it unfolded.
Prosecutors from the United States attorney’s office said that two of the alleged co-conspirators in the case, David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, had bragged to the governor about the lane closings, and that they had been done to “mess” with the mayor of Fort Lee because he had declined entreaties to endorse the governor’s re-election.
Chris Christie staked his political future on Donald Trump. That was bad. Christie is not a target of the case so he will likely continue to deny he knew about the lane closures. Still, it’s his word against others. This likely ends any future Christie had to hold elective office.