UPDATE: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has just issued a statement that essentially changes the story he’s been putting out there for months. Christie previously claimed he did not know about the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge until after the lanes were reopened. Tonight Christie admits that he knew about the closures while they were happening, but at the same time Christie is now denying that he made the earlier statement to the contrary.
David Wildstein, high school friend of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and his appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, says Christie lied when he claimed that he didn’t know key lanes to the George Washington Bridge were closed until after they were reopened.
Wildstein went on to say that “evidence exists” to prove that Christie lied.
What might sound like an arcane discussion goes to a much larger scandal involving Christie’s office allegedly closing the lanes to seek retribution against a local mayor who did not support his re-election campaign, and some allege the motivation was much bigger than that: money.
In a letter from his attorney to the general counsel of the Port Authority, published in the NYT, Wildstein alleges that Christie lied during his recent blockbuster two-hour press conference when the governor claimed that he had no knowledge of the lane closures until after the lanes were reopened.
Wildstein also claims via his attorney that other comments Christie made about Wildstein were also false.
Here’s a snippet from Wildstein’s attorney’s letter:
Christie was long-considered the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. But this scandal may have finally burst the media love affair with the New Jersey governor.
The scandal not only reinforces the image of Christie as a mean and vengeful hothead, but it also suggests a new, almost Nixonian, side to the governor that isn’t likely to win Christie many votes outside of the GOP far-right, which already didn’t fully trust Christie to begin with.
The election is a long way away, but at the moment, Chris Christie is seriously damaged goods.