Now that two former allies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have been found guilty in the so-called Bridgegate trial, you might think you’re done hearing about the political scheme that caused traffic jams in Fort Lee.
But there are several reasons Bridgegate could be back in the headlines soon.
1. Christie will address “lies”
Governor Christie was not charged with a crime or called as a witness during the trial, but he was mentioned frequently during the weeks of testimony. He has continued to deny that he had knowledge of the plot throughout the course of the trial. But in a statement issued after Friday’s verdict, Christie vowed to “set the record straight in the coming days regarding the lies that were told by the media and in the courtroom.” He’s set to appear in an interview with Charlie Rose on CBS today, Christie’s first since the verdicts.
2. The New Jersey Legislature will not be letting this go
State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, called on the Legislature to restart its investigation into Bridgegate, which was on pause during the trial. “The Governor will not tell the truth unless compelled under oath,” said Wisniewski.
Several members of the Democratically-controlled Assembly have also been considering what it would take to impeach Christie, a Republican, according to NBC 4 New York.
3. Christie faces misconduct complaint
Wayne resident William Brennan has filed an official misconduct complaint against Christie for failing to reopen lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013 when he allegedly learned they were closed. Bergen County Municipal Judge Roy McGeady agreed there was probable cause for the complaint and scheduled a court appearance for the Governor on November 23.
4. Defense attorneys will appeal
Attorneys for defendants Bill Baroni and Bridget Anne Kelly announced their intention to appeal just minutes after the verdict was read. Part of an appeal may include attorneys’ contention that Judge Susan Wigenton erred when she instructed the jury that the defendants could be found guilty of the charges without having been motivated by political retribution.
5. Port Authority reforms in limbo
Two top officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the George Washington Bridge, were implicated in the Bridgegate scandal. Friday’s guilty verdicts could be an impetus for the two states to pick up long-awaited reforms that have not yet come to fruition at the bistate agency. In May, Christie vetoed a plan sent to him by the state Legislature. Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the New York Legislature, and Christie have all thrown their support behind a different plan that proposes less legislative oversight than the original proposal, but New Jersey lawmakers have yet to sign on.
6. Christie’s political future
As the head of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s transition team, Christie may be hoping for a high-level position in a possible Trump administration. With several former Christie allies now facing jail time for corruption, those hopes could be dashed.