Obstruction of Justice, Perjury, Abuse of Power
Time for our governor to go to jail.
But he should.
It is apparent now, as the so-called “Bridgegate” trial begins, that for whatever the motives, or who may have been directly responsible for, and what eventually resulted from the fallout of the illegal George Washington Bridge closing of September 9 through September 13, 2013, the governor of New Jersey knew about it. Whether he cultivated it through a general atmosphere of tactical, systemic bullying or a direct edict, or whether he heard a joke about it in his Trenton offices or maybe knew the next day or even two weeks afterwards, Chris Christie, in fact, knew.
This is the complete opposite of what Christie has told investigators and the public for two years over several press conferences, TV appearances, and ass-kissing Trump-fests. We call this in the biz “obstruction of justice” with a possible dollop of perjury thrown in for good measure. It also implicates him for the first time in a court of law for what the Port Authority deemed a “threat to public safety”.
Seems as if Christie’s own quote of “abject stupidity” by his staff now falls squarely in his ample lap—where it rests nestled next to his boyhood friend, a squirrely little shit named David Wildstein, one of the most notorious political attack dogs on the always rancid Jersey circuit. Wildstein has sung his song to the prosecution and will soon drive the stake in Christie’s back and bury the governor of New Jersey.
Of course, Wildstein, who has already pled guilty to federal crimes, is fingering everyone in sight for immunity from his years of malfeasance in service to Christie’s political fortunes. The investigation has revealed that the governor routinely referred to his personal Igor (a man he told reporters he “barely knew”) as “The Cleaner”, or “Winston Wolf”, the mob cover-master played by Harvey Keitel in Quentin Tarantino’s masterwork, Pulp Fiction. Michael Baldassare, the lawyer for defendants Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly, who are also taking the fall for these half-assed shenanigans to allegedly punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for failing to endorse Christie in the 2013 gubernatorial election, called Wildstein “a miserable prick” in court in a torrent of abuse aimed at throwing the blame upwards.
And the only further up the prick you can go is Chris Christie.
Now, like the recent pass the FBI gave Hillary Clinton’s national security clusterfuck, the prosecution has left Christie out of legal harm’s way for now, concentrating on his surrogates, Baroni and Kelly, and using Wildstein to lay the hammer down. No one in Christie’s administration thought his old high school buddy would sell them out, but once “a miserable prick” always “a miserable prick”, and now the boot-kicking shoe is on the other foot and it is aimed at the Sunday spread over that Drumthwacket, where the noose tightens.
Amid prosecutor Vikas Khanna’s opening argument this past week was the following: “The evidence will show that Baroni and Wildstein were so committed to their plan to punish Mayor Sokolich that during those precious moments they had alone with the governor, they bragged about the fact that there were traffic problems in Fort Lee, and Mayor Sokolich was not getting his calls returned.”
A video from this moment exists; showing Christie and his boys laughing and whooping it up like something out of The Sopranos. Good times.
And here we are only a couple of years later, and one is likely going to jail, and other may send the governor into impeachment hearings.
According to Middlesex Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the leader of the N.J. Legislature’s 2014 investigation of the bridge scandal, there has already been “serious discussions” on proceeding on such a measure due to “a confluence of individuals who are all saying the governor wasn’t telling the truth.”
Of course this is unlikely to happen for one clear political motivation; Chris Christie is a doomed man, anyway. His approval ratings hover around George W. Bush-like 26 percent and his lapdog obedience to the Trump campaign (the GOP presidential candidate is far below his national average in this state and some 15 points behind Clinton) has made him look desperate and silly. Moreover, Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey Kim Guadagno is far more popular and would give the Republicans the only chance to retain the seat of executive power in next year’s election.
In other words, business as usual in the Garden State, where politics is akin to blood sport played by bottom-feeders.
The chief bottom-feeder is the governor and he should go to jail for it.
But he will not.
And he will not be impeached.
And if by some miracle Donald J. Trump should find himself president, Christie will likely become Attorney General of the United States.
And judging from the rogue’s gallery that has held that position over the past 40 years, it is fitting.
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James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, “Midnight For Cinderella” and “Y”. and his new book, “Shout It Out Loud—The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon”.