New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is facing a possible indictment for his role in the Bridgegate scandal, which has already led to several arrests and federal charges of top Christie aides.
During testimony in an ongoing case against two Christie officials who were behind the 2013 decision to close several lanes of the George Washington Bridge as an act of political retribution, key witnesses have leveled accusations that Christie himself was well aware of what was transpiring.
That testimony led one New Jersey activist to file a civilian complaint against the governor — and on Thursday, a judge determined there was enough probable cause to issue a formal criminal summons against Christie.
The case will now be forwarded to a Bergen County prosecutors, who will make a determination on whether or not to indict Christie.
William Brennan filed a complaint of official misconduct against Christie in late September after David Wildstein, a Christie-appointed official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, testified that Christie knew about the closures and did nothing to stop them. According to Brennan, the governor was made aware of the motivations behind the closures during a September 11 memorial service in 2013—just two days into the week-long closures.
In his complaint, Brennan argues that Wildstein’s testimony, along with other evidence such as recently-released text messages between Christie staffers, “constitutes probable cause to believe that Christie’s purpose in refraining from ordering that the local access lanes at issue be re-opened was to obtain a benefit for himself…and to injure citizens of the State of New Jersey by forcing them to sit in traffic that was created by his appointees with malicious intent.”
Prosecutors will now make a final determination as to whether or not to arrest Christie on charges of misconduct. His lawyers declined to commentto NBC New York.
For years, Christie has maintained he was unaware of plans to close most lanes onto the world’s busiest bridge as an act of revenge against a mayor who refused to endorse him.