The editorial board for The New Jersey Star-Ledger is calling for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to either step down or be impeached if new accusations are proven true.
The editorial board made the call in an editorial published Friday afternoon shortly after The New York Times reported that the former executive that ran the Port Authority of New Jersey and New York said he had evidence proving that the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge were directed by Christie’s administration.
“Forget about the White House in 2016. The question now is whether Gov. Chris Christie can survive as governor,” the editorial began.
The board cautioned though that the claims of the former official, David Wildstein, needed to be proven true first.
“If this proves to be true, then the governor must resign or be impeached. Because it will show that everything he said at his famous two-hour press conference was a lie,” the editorial continued. “And not just a typical political lie — this was like a Broadway show of lies, and would leave Christie so drained of credibility that he could not possibly govern effectively. He would owe it to the people of New Jersey to step aside. And if he should refuse, then the Legislature should open impeachment hearings.”
Wildstein, the board noted, has has his own reasons for making a claim like this.
“Is Wildstein telling the truth? He faces a criminal investigation himself, so he has a powerful incentive to give prosecutors damning information they can use against a bigger fish. That would give him leverage to negotiate a good plea deal,” the editorial said. “But Wildstein says he has documents that prove the governor was lying at his press conference, when Christie blamed the event on the “stupid” actions of his own staff. And certainly, Wildstein was in a position to know the roots of this conspiracy. A Christie acquaintance since high school, he was appointed to a senior position at the Port Authority, despite having no expertise in transit issues. He was the governor’s eyes and ears at the authority.”
In 2013 the Ledger endorsed Christie for reelection.
This story was updated.