Longtime Christie pal was right there at the Fort Lee traffic jam

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Doonesbury Chris Christie Fort Lee traffic jam bridgegate

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Watch out Chris Christie, Steve Kornacki is at it again. He's been digging and digging and found out that an old pal of Governor "Heartbroken" was right smack dab at the scene of the Fort Lee Traffic jam:

chris christie bridgegate friend 1

chris christie bridgegate friend 2

We have new information to report to you this morning about the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal. The connection that has not been discovered or reported anywhere else before now. It involves a man who was apparently present when the access lanes were shut down and whose family has deep personal and political ties to Governor Chris Christie that go back decades....

We have evidence of the identity of that police lieutenant who apparently gave Wildstein a tour of the area as traffic was piling up in Fort Lee. ...

Now here is where the puzzle starts to come together ... It's an e-mail sent from Wildstein at 7:28 that morning to [Bob Durando, the general manager of the bridge] informing him he's, quote, "going to take a ride with Chip and see how it looks." ...

Why should you care if Lieutenant Thomas "Chip" Michaels is the guy who gave Wildstein a tour as traffic hell was setting in on Fort Lee?

chris christie bridgegate friend 3

When David Wildstein surveyed the chaos caused by the lane closures, his tour guide was apparently a police lieutenant who had known Chris Christie since his childhood...

[Chip's brother] Jeff Michaels [is] a major Republican player...

"I've known [Christie] for a long time. we went to high school. our families knew each other from Livingston. and just stayed in close contact with him over the years and was very pleased to help his campaign out with policy." [...]

Christie has cultivated an unusual alliance with George Norcross. He's a Democrat who is widely regarded as the most powerful political boss in the state. So the Christie/ Norcross era in New Jersey, the teaming of Jeff Michaels and Phil Norcross has been a lucrative one...

So that's who Jeff Michaels is: a powerful New Jersey Republican whose family has long and close ties to Chris Christie. Someone who has parlayed that connection into a wildly successful lobbying practice and has invested tens of thousands of his own money in Christie's political future. And it is his brother, Jeff Michaels' brother, Port Authority police lieutenant Thomas "Chip" Michaels, who is apparently on the scene when the Fort Lee lanes were shut down. And who drove David Wildstein around as the traffic mounted, and  who apparently kept in touch with Wildstein through text messaging after that ride...

There's no evidence to suggest that Lieutenant Michaels was involved in the planning of the operation. But the evidence suggests that Chip Michaels was present on the bridge at the hour the lanes were first closed, both driving David Wildstein around that first morning and texting with him at least throughout the first two days of the closures. He seemed to have an inkling it was coming, too...

In all that time did Jeff Michaels and Chris Christie ever talk about this? About how Jeff's brother was the guy who drove David Wildstein around during the closures? ... Now it appears it wasn't just David Wildstein on the scene when the lanes were closed. That he was there with a police officer who knew the governor from way back, and whose brother is a Trenton power broker who has a deep connection to Christie, as well as deep ties to the Republican party in New Jersey.

UPDATE:

chris christie bridgegate kornacki tweet

Here is a bonus Doonesbury strip, because who can resist Garry Trudeau's snarkitude, especially when it comes to Gov. "I know nothing" Schultz, er, Christie?

Doonesbury Chris Christie Sunday strip

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  • http://sonic.net/~ckelly/Seekay/mtbwelcome.htm RepackRider

    Paraphrasing Roy Scheider, "You're going to need a bigger bus."

  • fantagor

    Before this is over, Chris Christie's list of friends he'll admit to having won't fill out the inner flap of a pack of matches.