We all knew Chris Christie was lying about shutting down a bridge as a form of political payback and as some kind of macho display of his “power” as governor of New Jersey. He denied it and denied it and denied it some more, despite the fact that several of his senior staff had to plead the fifth when hauled into court.
Now, newly uncovered information from a former aide to Christie shows that his staff knew exactly what happened. They knew that he ordered the closure because it appears that not only was his senior staff involved, but it was common knowledge even to his aides.
Christine Renna, who worked under deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly, texted a colleague during one of Christie’s denial speeches, with some pretty damning statements showing this to be true.
Reporter: “Governor, can you say with certainty that someone else didn’t on your staff or in your administration act on your behalf for the lane closures for political retribution?’’
Governor Christie: “Yeah, I have absolutely no reason to believe that, Angie, and I’ve made it very clear to everybody on my senior staff that if anyone had any knowledge about this that they needed to come forward to me and tell me about it, and they’ve all assured me that they don’t.’’
Follow up: “Your campaign chief?’’
Governor Christie: “Oh yeah. I’ve spoken to Mr. (Bill) Stepien, who’s the person in charge of the campaign, and he has assured me the same thing.’’
At the same time as Christie’s rampant denial, Renna texted a colleague, Pete Sheridan, who was working on Christie’s re-election campaign at the time.
Ms. Renna: “Are you listening? He just flat out lied about senior staff and Stepien not being involved.”
Mr. Sheridan: “I’m listening.”
Mr. Sheridan: “Gov is doing fine. Holding his own up there.”
Ms. Renna: “Yes. But he lied. And if emails are found with the subpoena or (campaign) emails are uncovered in discovery…if it comes to that… it could be bad.”
Christie has since thrown everyone necessary under the bus in order to protect himself from prosecution in this case. Two of his former staffers, Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly, are currently facing the federal prosecution that ultimately should be falling on Christie.
The new disclosure of evidence is leading up to an imminent testimony that will be given by Renna at the trials of Baroni and Kelly. As things play out and more gets discovered during trial, there’s a real chance that this whole scandal finally comes home to roost and ruins the public career of Chris Christie, to where he can’t even fetch take out burgers for Trump any longer.
Featured image via wbaltv.com