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Before there was no evidence, now emails have been released tying Chris Christie’s office to the closure of two lanes of the George Washington Bridge as a way to punish the Mayor of Ft. Lee New Jersey for not supporting the Governor’s reelection campaign. Christie has said he was unaware of the closures until the media coverage and said the closures were the result of a poorly planned traffic study.

Private Messages from Christie’s deputy chief of staff and two of his top executives at the Port Authority reveal a vindictive effort to create “traffic problems in Fort Lee” by shutting lanes to the George Washington Bridge and apparent pleasure at the resulting gridlock.

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Bridget Anne Kelly, one of three deputies on Christie’s senior staff, wrote to David Wildstein, a top Christie executive at the Port Authority, on Aug. 13, about three weeks before the closures. Wildstein, the official who ordered the closures and who resigned last month amid the escalating scandal, wrote back: “Got it.”

These messages were released as part of the New Jersey legislature’s investigation into the closure.

The real question is will this hurt Christie’s expected run for the 2016 GOP nomination? The answer is yes but the extent of the damage depends on the extent to which the actions were limited to over-zealous staffers or whether the Governor was involved.

In cases like this it is not the infraction that hurts the most, it’s the cover-up so if Christie does intend to run, he better fess up ASAP.  He has two years to “be forgiven” and Americans are a forgiving people, but first he has to have the political “mea culpa” ceremony.

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