NBC 4 New York reports that certain members of the New Jersey Assembly have initiated discussions on whether to attempt to impeach Gov. Chris Christie over recent revelations in the so-called “Bridgegate” scandal.
The controversy centers on the improper closure of two lanes of the George Washington Bridge that caused traffic jams in Fort Lee, N.J. The initial investigation into the closures focused on three Christie aides. The suspected motive for the scheme was to get back at the mayor of Fort Lee, Democrat Mark Sokolich, who refused to support Republican Christie for re-election in 2013.
The governor has always rejected claims that he had knowledge of the scandal. In a tweet from May 2015, Christie stated “I had no knowledge or involvement in the planning or execution of this act.”
Federal prosecution in the trial of two his former aides claim he was aware of the plot. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna has stated that former Port Authority official David Wildstein will testify that he had informed Christie of the plan while attending a 9/11 memorial ceremony in New York City. Wildstein has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy in exchange for turning evidence against other Christie aides.
The New Jersey Assembly is dominated by Democrats. One legislator told NBC 4 New York that the odds of bringing articles of impeachment against the governor stood at roughly 50-50. After the assembly decides to pursue the matter, the case is passed onto the New Jersey Senate. Two thirds of state senators would need to support impeachment in order to remove Christie from office. This would require the votes of at least three Republican senators.
Christie is extremely unpopular — an opinion poll from before the summer has his approval rating at a historically low 29 percent. Since his attempt on the White House failed, Christie has been acting as chairman of the transition effort for Donald Trump’s run for President.