A New Jersey judge has ruled that Governor Chris Christie must allow his personal email to be searched, or prove it already has been. A search could reveal crucial information about the 2013 Bridgegate scandal.
This ruling is the result of a lawsuit that North Jersey newspaper, The Record, filed against the governor’s office in June. The Record filed an Open Public Records Act request last year. They sought emails between Christie and his aides about a 2013 meeting with Democratic Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and the Port Authority.
In response to The Record’s request, the governor’s office sent 90 pages of emails, but 56 of them were heavily redacted. The governor’s office did not send any emails from Christie’s personal accounts, even though Christie used personal emails to conduct official government business.
The Record sued for its right to obtain more emails. Governor Christie’s office argued in court that they were not required to turn over all the emails the newspaper wanted, because the emails are about Christie’s reelection campaign, not official government business.
Judge Mary C. Jacobson ruled in favor of The Record. Christie must allow his personal email accounts to be searched.
The Bridgegate Scandal
This email search could finally prove that Chris Christie actually ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. Many have speculated that Christie wanted to retaliate against the Mayor of Fort Lee, who refused to endorse him for reelection.
As of right now, Bill Baroni, former deputy of the Port Authority, and Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, are the only ones facing trial for the lane closures. David Wildstein, another former Port Authority official, was also charged and pleaded guilty. Wildstein is a well-known Christie ally.
Baroni and Kelly’s trial is set to begin this week.
Christie has always denied that he and his top staffers knew about the conspiracy to close the lanes. But last month, Baroni’s lawyers released some text messages between two top Christie staffers which suggest otherwise.
One staffer said to the other:
“[Christie] lied. And if emails are found with the subpoena or [Chris Christie For Governor] emails are uncovered in discovery…it could be bad.”
At this point, it seems like all roads lead to the release of those emails.
Watch the full story on the incriminating text messages here:
Featured image from YouTube video.