Friday, October 21, 2016

Former Aide Testifies Gov. Christie Knew About Bridge Closings In Advance

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Bridget Kelly, a former top aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, testified in court today that the governor knew about planned bridge closings in August of 2013 a month before they occurred.

Via NPR.org:

Kelly is on trial for federal charges that range from conspiracy to wire fraud. She's the author of the infamous email about the September 2013 lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, and her message in that email — "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" — has been seen as proof that the closures of crucial roads leading into New York City weren't just a mishap of planning, but an attempt to punish Fort Lee's mayor for not endorsing Christie during his re-election campaign.

Kelly, who was fired as Christie's deputy chief of staff in the fallout from the scandal, testified on her own behalf Friday, saying Christie had consented to the Port Authority's plan to shut down the roads for four days — a plan that not only ruined commuters' trips but also frustrated ambulances' attempts to transport patients.

Today, Kelly gave new details about the scandal, and about Christie's behavior. Via Twitter, Andrea Bernstein of member station WNYC reports that under questioning by her defense attorney, Kelly testified:

• That she told Christie about the closings one month before they occurred, and that they were expected to cause "tremendous" problems;

• That Christie's main response was to ask "What's our relationship with Mayor Sokolich?" — referring to Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee;

• That Kelly also talked with Christie about Mayor Sokolich's public safety complaints over the closures while traffic was still snarled;

•That during a meeting in Seaside Heights, Christie flew into a rage over being asked by Kelly to introduce people, and asked her, "What do you think I am, a ****ing game show host?" Kelly was in tears as she said Christie then threw a water bottle at her that struck her in the arm.

Gov. Christie has maintained he knew nothing about the bridge closings.

Christie, a high-level Donald Trump advisor,  has been noticeably absent from the presidential campaign for some time now.

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