Ms. Kelly’s concern over incriminating herself by producing the documents at issue is not ‘trifling or imaginary,’ but ‘substantial and real.'Honestly, I can't blame her for taking that position, particularly in light of the fact that she is the person who authored the "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email. Neither can I blame Christie's former top political aide Bill Stepien for saying basically the same thing. If you were in their position, wouldn't you want immunity, too?
Of course, you wouldn't ever put yourself in their position, and I'm not saying they deserve immunity, but while it's possible that invoking the Fifth is a smart legal move on their part, I doubt that it will do Christie any good on the political front. For Christie, the biggest impact of this scandal has already been felt: He no longer boasts the post-Sandy crossover appeal that got national Republicans so excited for his candidacy, yet he has failed to capture the enthusiasm of the Republican base.
If nothing else changes, that's where Christie is: A 2016 hopeful who has lost his rationale for running and has yet to invent a new one. And if something does change, odds are it won't be good news for Christie, because unless it turns out that the traffic jam was a plot by Bruce Springsteen to bring down his (self-described) biggest political fan, the only real question at this point is whether Christie was willfully clueless about his organization's political tactics—or if he knew what was going on all along.