New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reacts during a news conference in Trenton January 9, 2014. Christie on Thursday fired a top aide at the center of a brewing scandal that public officials orchestrated a massive traffic snarl on the busy George Washingto
"See how sad I am?"
The main takeaway from Thursday's marathon press conference by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the bridge scandal that's rocked his administration, is that he's sad. Really, really sad. He said so, no less than 10 times. (And for the record, Christie was also feeling blindsided, disappointed, embarrassed, heartbroken, humiliated, sick, upset and was doing a lot of soul searching.)

But there was one thing that Christie wanted to talk about even more than his feelings, and that was the study that caused four days of massive traffic jams and delays in emergency services in Fort Lee, New Jersey, last September.

Over and over, Christie pushed the idea that there really was a study, citing Bill Baroni's—his appointee to the Port Authority who resigned last month in the wake of this scandal—testimony to the New Jersey Assembly's transportation committee last November:

We're going to find out, but I don't know, because Senator Baroni presented all types of information that day to the legislature -- statistics and maps and otherwise -- that seemed evidence of a traffic study, so why would I believe that anybody would not be telling the truth about that? [...]

I mean, I've seen, in front of the legislature statistics and other things about the traffic study, so I know there's information there. [...]

... there seemed to me to be evidence that Senator Baroni showed of statistics and maps and other things about a traffic study.

The "maps" was one picture of the Fort Lee entrance lanes to the George Washington Bridge, the statistics can be boiled down to, "boy, that bridge gets a lot of traffic," and the "otherwise" may have been Baroni's insistence that he was all about being fair. But there was one thing that Baroni refused to present to the legislature that day ... any results from the study:
WISNIEWSKI: There are people at the PA [Port Authority] who assembled this data?

BARONI: Yeah, just look at the numbers. [...]

WISNIEWSKI: So they did a two day compilation of data ... We'd like you to make that data available to the committee.

BARONI: Uh, Mr. Chairman, I will have my counsel talk to your counsel as we have done before and discuss documents, no question. [...]

WISNIEWSKI: So you're not willing to say whether you can provide us the data.

BARONI: Again, whatever the lawyers tell me … [...]

WISNIEWSKI: You had deferred one question … we had asked for the data.

BARONI: Yeah, and I said our lawyers will talk to each other ... Nobody is saying anything about holding it back, I just want to talk to my lawyers.

So the question for Chris Christie is—unless the lawyers are still discussing it—where is the data from the study? Because so far, the only concrete evidence we have that this study ever happened comes from the governor's office itself:

Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee

Originally posted to Barbara Morrill on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 07:10 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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