Bridgegate is no longer just a scandal. It may be the scandal that actually gets Chris Christie impeached as governor of New Jersey.
Top legislators in New Jersey have discussed, and are now moving into research around, whether or not to bring articles of impeachment against Chris Christie now that proof has surfaced that the governor knew about plans to shut down the George Washington Bridge in 2013. The planned shutdown is believed to have been a political maneuver meant to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich (D-NJ), for failing to endorse Chris Christie in the 2013 gubernatorial race.
Christie originally said that he knew nothing of the manufactured traffic jam until he read about it in the Wall Street Journal, but that recently proved to be untrue as witnesses have come forward in court to testify that Christie knew about the closings as they were happening.
‘Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna made the revelation in opening statements at the trial of Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly, two former allies of Christie. Baroni was a top Christie appointee to Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridge, and Kelly was Christie’s deputy chief of staff.’
According to NBC 4 New York:
‘One committee chairman who did not want to be named said “clearly obstruction of justice” would be an obvious charge against the governor.
‘The legislator [said] the chances are probably 50-50 that the assembly would pursue impeachment.’
The former GOP candidate in the 2016 presidential race faces serious consequences should he be convicted of obstruction of justice. The charge is defined as “any act that is intended to interfere with the administration of justice,” which Christie committed by “deliberate lies or ‘material omissions’ (leaving out facts which are crucial to a case).” The crime is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Additionally, Chris Christie may be impeached. Democratic Speaker Vincent Prieto would be who decides whether or not to move forward with the impeachment process and would ask the Assembly Judiciary Committee to do so. The committee would need a majority vote to impeach the governor.