A new person connected to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was on the front lines when George Washington Bridge lanes were closed, a revelation that will raise additional questions about Christie’s role in the closures.
According to documents obtained by MSNBC, Port Authority Lt. Thomas “Chip” Michaels, a childhood friend of the governor, was at the bridge when access lanes were closed in September. He drove around the Christie appointee who supervised the closing, David Wildstein.
Michaels described the effect of the lane closures as a "traffic disaster" in a text message sent the day after the lanes were closed to Wildstein, the man Christie appointed to be the head of interstate capital projects at the Port Authority.
Christie has been under fire for his role in the September lane closures on the bridge, which connects New Jersey to Manhattan.
Emails from a top Christie ally seem to show that the lanes were closed as retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., who did not support Christie’s run for reelection.
The New Jersey governor has said that he did not know the bridge was closed for political reasons and has fired the aide who sent the emails, deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly.
The documents about Michaels’s activities while the lanes were closed were revealed in a subpoena from the state assembly’s Transportation Committee last year and released publicly in January.