Chris Christie Bridge Scandal: The Next Shoes to Drop


When New York official reopened the Fort Lee, N.J., lanes, David Wildstein, a former Christie Port Authority official, wrote this to Christie's axed deputy chief of staff Kelly.

"The New York side gave Fort Lee back all three lanes this morning. We are appropriately going nuts. [Port Authority Chairman] Samson helping us to retaliate," Wildstein wrote.

Christie says he believes Samson, but that won't stop questions about whether there is more to his story.

5. Taking it to court.

Federal officials in New Jersey are looking into whether any laws were broken by Christie's staff in this whole debacle.

And now there is at least one civil case popping up.

Six New Jersey clients represented by attorney Rosemarie Arnold have filed a federal lawsuit against Christie, the state of New Jersey, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Bridget Anne Kelly, Bill Baroni, David Wildstein and others.

It's the first civil claim over the lane-closure scandal, but in an interview with Arnold she said she has been inundated with other phone calls from people in New Jersey and believes the number of plaintiffs will grow, possible to the "tens of thousands."

She wants it certified as a class-action lawsuit.

Arnold said most of the six people live in the surrounding area and all work in New York City.

"They have all been damaged by the 'Bridgegate' situation. One had a panic attack," Arnold said. "Not inconvenienced, but damaged."

The woman who had the panic attack owns a business in Manhattan and, like the others, was trying to get to work. Arnold said none of the clients are school children caught in the traffic, but she has already heard from several today.

6. When did he find out?

Christie says he awoke Wednesday morning, went to the gym and then got a call from an aide about a report in a New Jersey newspaper with the bombshell allegations about his aides.

He was "blindsided" and "shocked," saying it was all new to him.

Then came this revelation:

"I haven't had a lot of sleep the last two nights, and I've been doing a lot of soul-searching."

Two nights?

If Christie found out about the emails a day before he spoke to the media, what kept him up the first night?

These might be idle questions, but in a bizarre case that has turned on idle questions' becoming political realities, every detail becomes important.

7. Were others involved?

"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," Kelly wrote in an Aug. 13 email that set into motion this political drama.

Is it possible that a deputy chief of staff could have enough authority alone to compel Port Authority officials to act on a political vendetta with a thin justification?

But the email leaves plenty questions about what kinds of conversations came before it and who else was involved.

Newly released documents might reveal more, and more heads might need to roll if others were involved.

Christie is already short several high-level, once-trusted officials. The loss of Stepien, a political guru who would have been Christie's man at the Republican Governors Association, which Christie now runs, is a big hit.

More resignations and Christie will have work to do to rebuild his inner circle.

It could also leave him with an even smaller group of confidants to help him through the next four years and, potentially, a presidential run.

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