Yesterday, news leaked out about the Legislative Bridgegate panel's interim report. A few hours later, the other shoe falls heavily:
Multiple sources familiar with the investigation into last year's traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge tell NBC 4 New York at least half a dozen potential federal indictments in connection with the scandal may be handed down as early as January.
Those facing potential indictment include former staffers to Gov. Christie and current and former Port Authority officials, the sources said. Possible charges may be related to what sources familiar with the probe describe to NBC 4 New York as an apparent conspiracy to cover up what they refer to as a politically motivated plot.
The piece goes on to diligently report the predictable Randy Mastro spin that the Legislative interim report is an exoneration of Christie, which it is not, plus the usual 'no comment' from Port Authority, whose former Chair and top Christie appointees are all resigned and tangled in multiple related scandals under investigation. Then, after talking to panel members:
Some committee members told NBC 4 New York they felt it was clear Christie misrepresented what he knew and when he knew it, while others refuted that contention entirely, saying there was no indication the governor was involved. Most appear to agree there was poor judgment, but say whether that constitutes a criminal offense can only be determined by the U.S. Attorney's office.
Well, a couple things on that: I'll bet that distinction falls entirely on party lines. But beyond that, no amount of tap dancing by Gov. Christie's Republican apologists can bounce away the evidence that Christie runs an ethically-challenged front office, with his most highly placed henchmen willing to do things like risk the safety of thousands of people for political hijinks, then lie about it, and artfully cover it up. Doesn't matter that those individuals are fired/thrown under the bus. Fish rots from the head. I don't know whether the feds' investigation leads to indictments, or how high they go. I assume Gov. Christie has insulated himself from charges, though that doesn't make him innocent.
The Governor, for all his take-charge bluster, is simply bad at his job, if his job is running a state. Corruption's only part of it. If his job is getting the cameras to swing his way, raising truckloads of cash for backward, anti-worker GOP hopefuls, and spewing insults, well then he's all set. We're going to find out if Republican voters care he's incompetent, or are willing to settle for entertaining bombast.