Ok. My sympathetic side is kicking in, and I’m feeling a little relieved for the guy.
The last couple of years have been pretty tough on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
He lost his bid and becoming the Republican nominee for president, so he immediately became a top Trump toady, in hopes of at least getting the VP slot or a cabinet position.
Other than fetching Trump’s lunch on the campaign trail and serving as the subject of Trump’s fat jokes at rallies, he was pretty much passed over.
Then there was the 2013 “Bridgegate” scandal, which has been a dark cloud lingering over his head for all this time.
According to Reuters, however, that troublesome thorn may be out of Christie’s side.
The Office of the Bergen County Prosecutor said in a letter to a local judge it did not have sufficient evidence to prove allegations that Christie knew about a plot to close lanes at the George Washington Bridge in 2013 in order to punish a local mayor for failing to endorse Christie’s re-election bid.
“The reason is simple, but compelling – that charge cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the letter said.
Last year, two Christie associates were convicted of plotting the lane closures. While Christie has denied any involvement or knowledge, U.S. prosecutors brought forth evidence during the trial that would suggest the governor was, at the very least, aware of the plot.
Bill Brennan is a fireman who plans to run against Christie in the upcoming election. He filed the citizen complaint against the governor in September 2016.
Roy McGeady, a municipal judge in Fort Lee, NJ found probable cause to allow for the case against Christie to move forward, after a hearing. Brennan testified at that hearing, however, Christie’s lawyer was not allowed to argue or cross-examine.
McGeady’s reasoning for denying cross-examination was that Christie was not a defendant until probable cause was established.
Bergen County Superior Court Judge Bonnie Mizdol rejected Christie’s subsequent request to toss the complaint outright. But she agreed with both Christie’s lawyers and county prosecutors that McGeady erroneously denied the governor’s attorney an opportunity to participate.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office said in the letter that citizen complaints typically allege minor crimes of which the complainant has personal knowledge. The letter said criminal misconduct was far outside that scope.
“In short, a matter of this gravity should not have been heard by a municipal court judge,” the letter said.
So this is a win, right?
Of course, there will always be those who maintain Christie got lucky, and that technicalities pulled his butt out of the fire.
While he can breathe a sigh of relief that this is settled, expect Brennan to use it as a talking point during the gubernatorial race, should Christie decide to run for reelection.