By: Derek Offitzer
Just a few months ago, Chris Christie was sitting on top of the world with a sky-high approval rating and looked to be on track to run for president in 2016. Now he’s stumbled a bit, getting booed in public, trashed by the media, and disrespected even by supporters. Bridgegate.
The scandal known as “Bridgegate” is not yet fully uncovered. Back towards the end of the summer when Christie was running for Governor, Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich had originally supported the incumbent despite being a democrat. However, after this endorsement, he rescinded and switched his allegiance. This is what led people in Christie’s cabinet to cause major traffic jams at the George Washington bridge into Fort Lee as payback. Now there are questions swirling around Christie about his knowledge of the situation or ability to surround himself with the right people. Here is what you need to know and what you’ve said:
Aug. 13: A deputy chief of staff to Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, sends a message to David Wildstein, the governor’s appointee to the Port Authority that said, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Wildstein then responded, “Got it.”
Sept. 7, 2013: Wildstein sends a message to Kelly once again saying, “I will call you Monday AM to let you know how Fort Lee goes.”
Sept. 9: The Port Authority closes two of three traffic lanes from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge, one of the busiest areas in the country, causing a major traffic jam throughout the area and putting cars everywhere on the streets. Records show Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich calling Port Authority to ask why this is happening.
Sept. 13, 2013: Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye, an appointee of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, orders the lanes to be opened, saying it jeopardize safety and their credibility.
Sept. 16: The Port Authority claims the closures were done for a traffic safety study.
Nov. 5: Christie is re elected governor in an overwhelming victory.
Dec. 29: Emails from Port Authority show emergency responders unable to get to situations in time due to the overcrowded lanes, resulting in delayed help.
Jan. 8: Bridget Anne Kelley, Christie’s deputy chief of staff is found to have had knowledge of the situation the entire time. Christie apologizes and claims he will hold those involved responsible.
Jan. 31: Wildstein claims that there was evidence that Christie did in fact know about the bridge scandal while it was happening, to which Christie continues to deny when asked.
Feb.1: Christie gets booed at pre-super bowl festivities in New York City
Feb.20: Christie holds first town hall meeting since scandal erupted, barely saying anything at all about the George Washington bridge situation.
Feb. 24: Lawyer of Fort Lee Mayor Mark Socolich says the mayor has met with several federal prosecutors about the closings of the two lanes.
Clearly there is much suspicion that Christie was involved, but it is still not proven he was aware. As more information continues to pile in, we will follow this story as it develops, so follow closely!
Feel free to discuss and talk about it in our comment section below!
Sources: nj.com, cnn.com, nbcnews.com