New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is disputing a former aide’s claim, made public in court filings Wednesday, that he “lied” about being certain his senior staffers had no knowledge of the 2013 Bridgegate scandal.
“I absolutely dispute it. It’s ridiculous. It’s nothing new,” Christie told reporters on Wednesday while leaving an interview with a sports talk radio show, according to the Associated Press. “There’s nothing new to talk about.”
Court documents submitted by lawyers for former Port Authority executive Bill Baroni included the transcript of a text message exchange between Christina Renna, Christie’s director of intergovernmental affairs at the time, and Peter Sheridan, then a staffer on the governor’s re-election campaign. In the texts, Renna said that Christie “flat out lied” when he told reporters his senior staff members had no knowledge of the plot to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge, which federal prosecutors say was politically motivated.
The texts were sent during a Dec. 13, 2013 press conference in which Christie assured the media that his top staffers and his re-election campaign manager were unaware of the scheme.
Baroni and a former deputy chief of staff to Christie, Bridget Anne Kelly, were indicted for their role in planning the lane closures and now face trial. Another former Christie appointee at the Port Authority, David Wildstein, struck a plea deal.
Christie has long denied he had any knowledge of the plot to close lanes on the bridge.