Chris Christie’s Aides Sure Did Joke About Traffic Jams a Lot

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I haven’t written about Bridgegate lately, figuring that MSNBC’s saturation coverage is probably plenty for anyone who’s truly interested in every last jot and tittle of speculation about what happened. Today, though, the New York Times adds something concrete to the story: yet another exchange between two of the people at the center of the scandal. For some obscure reason, they appear to have gotten annoyed with Rabbi Mendy Carlebach of South Brunswick Township, which prompted this exchange:

“We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?” wrote Bridget Anne Kelly, then a deputy chief of staff for Mr. Christie.

David Wildstein, a Christie ally at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, suggested that they should think bigger. “Flights to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed,” Mr. Wildstein wrote. (Again, he appeared to be kidding.)

This came a few days after Kelly’s infamous email to Wildstein that gleefully declared, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Apparently these two were pretty pleased with their little traffic jam idea and joked about it repeatedly. This adds to the evidence that they considered traffic jams a form of political retaliation, and that this was what motivated the lane closures at Fort Lee.

There’s still no evidence that Christie knew what they were doing, but Kelly and Wildstein sure seemed to think they were working in an environment in which this kind of thing was just another day at the office. It probably was.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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