A Bridgegate Legal Primer

Email a Friend

Here's what we do know: Last September, local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were closed with little notice, causing traffic jams, accidents and general chaos in Fort Lee for four days. The lane closures were ordered by Port Authority executive David Wildstein, with the knowledge of Bridget Anne Kelly, the then-Deputy Chief of Staff for Gov. Chris Christie.

The lane closures were apparently directed at Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, though the reasons for Wildstein's animosity towards the Mayor is unclear. An arbitrary closure of lanes on a piece of infrastructure as massive and vital to its region as the George Washington Bridge has clear ethical implications. But was it illegal?

Robert Del Tufo, a former US Attorney and Attorney General for New Jersey, said if the allegations against Wildstein are true, there are clear abuse of power and obstruction of justice violations.

But Del Tufo saids investigators are more interested in what the governor knew and when he knew it. He said Christie could easily bring an end to the federal and legislative inquiries if he released his files and emails to investigators.