New Jersey Bridge Scandal Suddenly Gets Worse For Chris Christie

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Last week I mentioned the peculiar story of David Wildstein, an executive at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who closed down several lanes of the George Washington Bridge last October in apparent retaliation against the mayor of Fort Lee for not supporting Chris Christie’s reelection campaign. It all seemed pretty sleazy, but I also figured it was “vanishingly unlikely” that Christie himself had anything to do with this. It was embarrassing for him, but that was all.

Today, that may have changed:

Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, former executives at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, have sought outside counsel amid an investigation into why traffic lanes leading to the nation’s busiest bridge were closed, the documents showed.

….Mr. Wildstein recently hired Alan L. Zegas, a criminal lawyer from Chatham, N.J., to represent him, according to an email sent from Mr. Zegas to the state Legislature Tuesday….Mr. Baroni retained Michael Himmel, of Lowenstein Sandler LLP. Mr. Himmel works at the firm’s New York City and Roseland, N.J. offices, and specializes in white collar crime, according to his biography.

Read Mark Kleiman for more on just why this is such bad news for Christie. This scandal is starting to look like it has more legs than I thought.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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