New Trouble for Christie on the Bridge Closings

After years of denying knowledge about wrongdoing, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may have a tough time maintaining his stance. In 2013, members of Christie's administration were accused of intentionally closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge to cause problems for the mayor of Fort Lee, who didn't support Christie's re-election. Christie denied the allegations for himself and his senior staff:

"I've made it very clear to everybody on my senior staff that if anyone had any knowledge about this that they needed to come forward to me and tell me about it, and they've all assured me that they don't."

But now the truth comes out: in court filings, text messages between two staffers, Christina Renna and Peter Sheridan, during Christie's news conference in 2013 have indicated otherwise, according to a Wall Street Journal report:

"Are you listening?" Ms. Renna texted Mr. Sheridan, according to the filing. "He just flat out lied about senior staff and [campaign manager Bill] Stepien not being involved."

"I'm listening," Mr. Sheridan replied. "Gov is doing fine. Holding his own up there."

According to the filing, Ms. Renna replied: "Yes. But he lied. And if emails are found with the subpoena or ccfg [Chris Christie for Governor] emails are uncovered in discovery if it comes to that it could be bad."

Mr. Christie, encountering reporters outside a Manhattan radio studio after a guest-host stint on a sports-talk program, called the text-message matter "ridiculous."

"There's nothing new to talk about," he said, according to a video of the exchange posted by the Associated Press. Asked about Ms. Renna's remark that he had lied, Mr. Christie said "yeah, and she was wrong."

Discussion Starters:

  • Do you believe Christie's defense? Why or why not?
  • Big picture: What is most relevant in this situation? Let's not lose perspective.
  • Christie was making a run for president in the 2016 elections. Could this hurt his candidacy for 2020? Also, Trump didn't choose Christie as his running mate, although Christie expressed interest. To what extent do you think his decision was tied to this situation?