Despite conducting an exhaustive 90-minute press conference about the explosive political scandal now known as “Bridgegate,” Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) nevertheless failed to answer a few burning questions about the unauthorized closing of the George Washington Bridge.
As rolling out reported, emails implicate senior appointees within the Christie administration of New Jersey who shut down the busiest bridge in the world for four days. — The one that connects New Jersey and New York State — as an act of revenge against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., who refused to support Christie’s reelection campaign, despite the fact that the governor didn’t need the support. Christie won the election in a landslide and was seen as the front-runner to become the Republican presidential nominee in 2016.
Christie claims he knew nothing about this, spawning skepticism. He also said he immediately fired his chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly after learning that she, allegedly without his permission, instructed the chief of the Port Authority’s New Jersey’s arm, David Wilstein, to close all but one of the GW bridge lanes with the now-infamous email, “time for traffic problems in Fort Lee.” When the bridge closings first went down, Christie said he gathered his staff and gave them one hour to admit if any of them were behind the closing for unprofessional reasons. When Kelly did not respond, but was later found to be behind the closings, she was terminated without pause.
However, these questions still remain:
1. Had Kelly spoken up and told the truth at the beginning, would she have still kept her job?
Kelly’s actions were undoubtedly motivated out of revenge against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich who refused to support her boss’ reelection. It was unprofessional and perhaps even illegal to shut down the bridge, which cause the inconvenience and endangerment of tens of thousands of commuters for four days. So, if she had of spoken up, would she have still been fired? Christie never answered that.
2. Why didn’t Christie ascertain why Kelly would send the email in the first place? Why didn’t Christie find out what motivated her actions?
As a former prosecutor, you would think Christie would want to get to the bottom of matter and find out the reasons behind Kelly’s actions.
3. When the bridge closings in Fort Lee happened, his chief of the Port Authority told Christie that it was related to a traffic study. But why did Christie not ask for a report of this “study?”
A study produces results that would be forwarded to Gov. Christie to take a look at. When no study was produced, why didn’t Christie push harder for answers, especially since the closing caused such a ruckus in the media and with the public.
4. Why didn’t Christie ask why Wildstein resigned suddenly?
Perhaps most damning about this whole scandal is this: the chief of the Port Authority, David Wildstein, resigned just as questions were being raised as to why the GW bridge was pretty much shut down for four straight days. Christie was aware of the questions peppered at Wildstein. Why did Christie fail to dig harder and deeper into the reason for his sudden resignation?
Because of these questions that continue to burn in the back of people’s minds, this brewing scandal may linger well into the future and come back to haunt the governor, particularly as it relates to the 2016 presidential campaign.