While New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told the media that neither his campaign manager and confidant Bill Stepien nor his senior staff were aware of the creation of George Washington Bridge lane closures as political retribution, his own staffers texted about him “lying,” new court documents reveal.
“I’ve made it to very clear to everybody on my senior staff that if anyone had any knowledge about this that they needed to come forward to me and tell me about it, and they’ve all assured me that they don’t,” Christie told reporters in December 2013. According to transcripts posted by Politico NJ reporter Matt Friedman, as the governor made those remarks, staffer Christina Genovese Renna texted the governor’s attorney Mark Sheridan: “Are you listening? He just flat out lied about senior staff and Stepien not being involved.” Despite Sheridan responding that the governor was “doing fine,” “holding his own up there,” an unconvinced Renna pressed again: “Yes. But he lied. And if emails are found... in discovery if it comes to that it could be bad.”
Several months later, text messages revealed that Christie Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly had emailed “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” to a Christie appointee at the Port Authority, implicating a senior staffer in the “Bridgegate” scandal. It was also later revealed that Stepien, as Kelly’s ex-boyfriend, was kept abreast of the forced lane closures despite Christie suggesting he was unaware of the incident.