Bridgegate might just be the wildest political scandal (not involving sex) in New Jersey history. And that’s saying something. Here are Bridgegate’s top 10 plot twists over the scandal’s 1,001 days:
A group of Gov. Chris Christie’s appointees shut down lanes to the world’s busiest bridge, causing a traffic jam in Fort Lee in order to retaliate against the town’s Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse the governor.
The aides wanted the endorsement because Christie wanted to win his reelection by huge margins as an argument for his presidential campaign.
But the conspiracy was discovered and the perpetrators investigated. Prosecutors landed a guilty plea and two indictments.
Christie went on to announce for president anyway, running against 16 candidates, including Donald Trump.
At one point, Trump said Christie “totally knew” about Bridgegate.
Christie’s bid to be president skidded to a halt shortly thereafter, when Trump soundly defeated him and everyone else in the New Hampshire primary.
Still, Christie quickly became the first major establishment figure to endorse Trump, who then rewarded Christie him by making him chairman of his transition team.
Meanwhile, prosecutors compiled a list of everyone involved in the conspiracy — not just those indicted — and a judge ordered the list released in response to a suit from news organizations.
But an unnamed public official named “John Doe” objected, and a federal appeals court judge blocked the release of the names of the co-conspirators. The judge ordered all proceedings be secret from here on…even though none of the lawyers involved asked for that.
And guess who’s on the appeals court that gets to decide? Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry. She could be selected for the three-judge panel that will convene in Philadelphia on June 6 — 1,001 days after the lanes were first shut down.