It's been a year
since the "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email from a top Chris Christie aide was made public. The New Jersey governor would like to think he's gotten through to the other side of that scandal and that voters—Republican presidential primary voters in particular—have forgotten. But not only did the scandal solidify Christie's image as a bully, it's not over yet. Christie's inner circle remains under federal investigation, and that investigation appears to be expanding
, not wrapping up:
Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have subpoenaed Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election campaign for documents relating to government meetings that were allegedly canceled with Jersey City’s mayor after he declined to endorse the governor, according to people familiar with the matter.
The subpoenas, sent by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, are another sign that the yearlong probe into former allies of Mr. Christie has broadened beyond matters directly related to the George Washington Bridge lane closures.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop had said that a series of meetings he'd arranged with Christie administration officials were abruptly canceled without explanation
after his decision not to endorse Christie, and:
Fulop's name appears in the documents ... showing that there was a political motivation to the Fort Lee lane closures. David Wildstein, the Christie appointee tasked with carrying out the lane closures, was asked by Kelly whether or not Baroni had called the Fort Lee mayor about the lane closures. His response: "Radio silence His name comes right after mayor Fulop."
Christie has insisted that if his aides were carrying out such political retaliation, he had nothing to do with it and didn't know about it. But even if voters believe that Christie didn't know that his aides were engaging in potentially illegal political bullying, we're left with the image of Christie as a governor who hired ethically challenged people and had no idea what his top aides were doing in his service. Either he's a bully who doesn't play by the rules or he's a truly incompetent leader. Happily for voters (not so happily for Christie), this is a question federal investigators may help us answer.