U.S.

New Jersey Bridge Scandal: More Documents Released

New Jersey lawmakers released hundreds of documents Friday relating to the bridge closure scandal that has put Gov. Chris Christie on the defensive.

New Jersey Bridge Scandal: More Documents Released
Flickr / Gage Skidmore
SMS

​Call it "Bridgegate" or "Bridgeghazi," the bridge closure scandal in New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration doesn't appear to be going away. And Friday, lawmakers released a mountain of documents that might just add more fuel to the fire.

"I had no knowledge or involvement in this issue. In its planning or its execution. … I am a very sad person today. That's the emotion I feel." (Via WLNY)

That's just a segment of the nearly two-hour press conference Christie held Thursday. He was addressing recent revelations that some of his top advisers had closed access lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September. (Via NJTV)

This news led Christie to fire his chief of staff and distance himself from some of his top advisers. The release of documents Friday serves as the cherry on top of a tough week for the potential presidential candidate. (Via The Wall Street Journal)

One finding from CNN shows an email from the bridge's general manager to a colleague saying, "Fort Lee is not happy." The bridge manager also expressed that the lane closures had turned into a public safety concern.

Revelations like that could gain more traction as the U.S. Justice Department and other agencies look into the situation to determine whether federal or state laws were violated in the closures. (Via WJLA)

In a statement, State Democratic Committee Chairman John Wisniewski said the documents raise the question of why senior members of Christie's staff initially didn't give the whole story as they were preparing spin control. (Via Politico)

Wisniewski says the documents show the Port Authority chairman and Christie met just one week before the lanes were ordered closed. Wisniewski suggested that meeting could mean Christie's ties to the scandal are closer than he's willing to admit. (Via NewJersey.com)

Critics have said the closures appear to be an act of political retribution after Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich chose not to endorse Christie in his re-election bid. (Via News 12 New Jersey)

Christie apologized to the residents of Fort Lee who were affected by the closures, but he denied any direct involvement in the scandal. (Via ABC)

So far, Christie has not responded to requests for comment on the documents. His re-election inauguration is scheduled to kick off at Ellis Island in two weeks.