The private messages that linked Governor Christie’s office to lane closures at the George Washington Bridge also contain jokes about causing “traffic problems” at the home of a New Jersey rabbi associated with the Port Authority, newly released documents show. [...] [Former Christie Port Authority aide David] Wildstein sent [former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne] Kelly a picture of Rabbi Mendy Carlebach, later writing: “And he has officially pissed me off.”It's not entirely clear what motivated the texts. Rabbi Carlebach appears to be a Republican; the photograph sent by Wildstein featured Carlebach and House Speaker John Boehner, and the rabbi delivered prayers at both the 2004 and 2008 Republican National Conventions.
“Clearly,” Kelly responded on Aug. 19.
“We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?” Kelly wrote.
“Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed,” wrote Wildstein, an executive at the bi-state agency that controls the region’s airports.
“Perfect,” Kelly wrote.
Whatever the motivation, however, the texts underscore the fact that senior officials of the Christie administration viewed their ability to cause "traffic problems" as a source of power and influence. Even if you believe that Chris Christie was somehow unaware that he had such terrible people working for him, at a minimum it still leaves the question unanswered: How on Earth could he be so clueless about what his administration was up to?
Personally, I find it impossible to believe that Christie had no idea what was going on. These emails suggest that bullying was at the core of the culture in Christie's office, which isn't surprising given his approach to human interaction. And let's not forget that the press started asking questions about the lane closures in September—it wasn't until January, after weeks of denying complicity—that Christie finally conceded that his administration had been up to no good. In those intervening months, Christie did nothing to investigate what had happened, even though it was obviously that this wasn't an issue that wouldn't disappear without a full accounting of what transpired. And the most logical explanation for his lack of investigation is simple: He already knew.