Indictments in the federal investigation of the George Washington Bridge closures appear to be coming as early as next week, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
The scandal has ensnared potential presidential contender and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) along with members of his administration, but the Times report stopped short of saying whether the criminal case was expected to reach the governor:
People close to the case say prosecutors are likely to bring charges based on a rarely used provision of a fraud statute, under which they would argue that Mr. Christie’s associates used the bridge, or the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs it, for a purpose other than its intended one. In the case of the bridge, the closings were apparently meant to punish Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee, a Democrat, after he declined to endorse the governor’s re-election bid in 2013.
The Times noted that since the scandal broke, Christie has pushed back his presidential ambitions further and further while waiting for U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman to make his move.
The indictments would be a long time coming in the so-called Bridgegate scandal, in which staffers close to Christie arranged to shut down lanes to the George Washington Bridge in September 2013.
Opponents of the governor say the move was politically motivated to disrupt traffic in Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Christie has maintained he knew nothing about the closures in advance and fired several aides close to the scandal.