Close allies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) had all kinds of “traffic problems” on their minds in August.
Documents released Thursday show that key players in the George Washington Bridge scandal joked about causing “traffic problems” in front of the house of a New Jersey rabbi.
“He has officially pissed me off,” former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive David Wildstein texted on Aug. 19, minutes after sending a photograph of the rabbi.
“Clearly,” Christie Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly wrote back. “We cannot cause traffic problems in front of his house, can we?”
“Flight to Tel Aviv all mysteriously delayed,” Wildstein responded.
“Perfect,” Kelly wrote back.
According to The Bergen Record, the rabbi in question is Rabbi Mendy Carlebach, who serves as a Port Authority police chaplain. According to the rabbi’s biography on the website of Chabad of North and South Brunswick, Carlebach also served as a chaplain at the 2004 and 2008 Republican National Conventions.
“I have totally no idea,” Carlebach told the Record, when asked why he might be the subject of the text messages between Wildstein and Kelly. “I don’t understand it. … None of it makes any sense.”
State lawmakers released the text messages on Thursday as part of their investigation of the bridge scandal. Wildstein and Kelly traded the texts about Carlebach just days after Kelly sent Wildstein the now infamous “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email on Aug. 13. Wildstein went on to orchestrate the George Washington Bridge lane closures, which caused a massive traffic jam in Fort Lee. As the scandal surrounding the closures heated up last year, Wildstein resigned his position at the Port Authority. Christie fired Kelly last month, following the release of documents including her original “traffic problems” email.
The 20 pages of documents released Thursday were provided to New Jersey lawmakers by Wildstein’s lawyer, after discussions concerning the unredacted portions that were previously submitted by Wildstein in December.
Read all the newly released documents here:
This post has been updated.