New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is definitely feeling the heat from the fire that was set on Friday when his former chief of staff, Bridget Ann Kelly, let the cat out of the bag. She confirmed with reporters that her former co-workers in Christie’s office were all aware of the 2013 George Washington Bridge lane closure incident. Kelly, along with former New York and New Jersey Port Authority official, Bill Baroni, both have been criminally charged with nine counts against each of them. Each of those nine charges all are in regards to the lane closures. David Wildstein, who was once an ally of the governor, has pleaded guilty and is now aiding the government in any way he can. At this point, Christie is just hoping for the best possible outcome.
After Kelly’s confession, Christie’s only savior seemed to be the fact that there have not been any discoveries made that point to any type of direct link connecting him to the incident. He claimed on Friday that, due to the lack of charges being brought against him, he has been proven innocent in having no involvement in the lane closures or the cover up.
Christie is a person who has been planning to run in the next presidential election for quite some time. Over the past few months, he has committed to doing his fair share of voter schmoozing. If he thought he had a lot of schmoozing to do before this news occurrence, he probably does not even want to deal with the amount of schmoozing he will need to do now to keep voters from pinning him as a shady politician who is into some dirty business. The case has not kept Christie from hoping for the best when it comes to his presidential goals, though.
When the incident was brought to Christie’s attention for the first time, allegedly, he acted very surprised and appalled by the dishonesty and the deceit of the individuals whom he trusted and worked closely with. When Kelly’s emails proving her involvement in the lane closures had been revealed during an investigation, Christie fired her immediately. He also cut all ties with Bill Stepian, who was his political aide in 2014. The sincerity he displayed in every word he spoke when he told the public multiple times and in multiple different ways that he had no idea what the people in his office were scheming, that seemed to have been enough to satisfy the public.
Now, if some shred of evidence or clue is found that traces Christie back to having even an ounce of knowledge or involvement in the lane closure fiasco, then his chances of presidency will be completely annihilated. With comments about there being some actual existing proof of his attachment to the incident, which is coming from Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer, Christie really better hope that he has been nothing but truthful and thoroughly transparent from the very beginning, otherwise, his political future is looking rather dim.
Both Kelly and Wildstein are scheduled for court on Monday, where they both plan on pleading not guilty of all the nine charges brought against them. As for Christie, it is business as usual,just hoping for the best, while trying to get the Democrats and unions to get on board with New Jersey’s state-employee pension system.
Opinion By Kameron Hadley