As BridgeGate documents subpoenaed by the New Jersey State Legislature are due to be turned over to investigators today, it’s worth reviewing the timeline of what Governor Chris Christie has said he knew about this growing scandal and when he says he knew it.
While Christie has doubled down on his claims that he knew nothing of the lane closures while they were happening, his public statements on this timeline have been inconsistent and imprecise.
Christie has refused to answer media questions about the scandal for weeks, and his weekend straw man attacks on his appointee David Wildstein’s high school years instill little confidence that another shoe isn’t waiting to drop.
TIMELINE: What Did Christie Know and When?
Sunday, February 2, 2014:
Christie doubles down on claim that he knew nothing of the lane closures while they were happening, despite previous inconsistent statements. “Governor Christie has said each time he has been asked that he first learned about the closing of the lanes… after the instance was over.” [Star Ledger, 2/2/14]
NBC New York reports another example of wasted Sandy recovery funds – this time $4.8M for an apartment complex in New Brunswick, a community with relatively minor damage from the storm. [NBC New York, 2/2/14]
Saturday, February 1, 2014:
In an email, Christie attacks both Wildstein, who he had previously appointed to the Port Authority, and the New York Times. Christie even desperately attacks Wildstein over old high school activities, when they both attended school in Livingston, New Jersey. [Politico, 2/1/14]
Friday, January 31, 2014:
On Sirius XM’s The Blitz, Christie does an interview exclusively limited to football. Hosts say “handlers” were responsible for the content limitation. [The Blitz,1/31/14]
In a letter to the Port Authority from his attorney, David Wildstein alleges that “evidence exists” that Christie knew about the closings when they were happening. [NYT 1/31/14]
Later that night, Christie attends Howard Stern’s birthday party and is booed. [Philadelphia Inquirer, 2/1/14]
The Star Ledger publishes an editorial stating that if Wildstein’s charge is true, “the governor must resign or be impeached.” [Star Ledger 1/31/14]
Thursday, January 9, 2014
In a press conference after being asked in which column he first read about the bridge closing, Christie said, “I don’t remember exactly. … Something about the traffic, yeah.” [Star-Ledger, 2/2/14]
Monday, December 14, 2013:
During “Ask the Governor,” Christie responded to a question on the closing saying, “Well, I first heard about the lane closure back in September, you know, from press accounts, but, you know, this has kind of been an evolving thing.” [Star-Ledger, 2/2/14]
Friday, December 13, 2013:
In a press conference, Christie said he did not know about the closure until after it occurred. “The first I ever heard about the issue was when it was reported in the press, which I think was in the aftermath of Mr. — the leaking of Mr. Foye’s email. I think that was the first I heard of it.” [Star-Ledger, 2/2/14]