Jill Colvin and Jost Cornfield report
A former loyalist to
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrived at court Friday to plead guilty
to charges related to creating a traffic jam near the George Washington
Bridge for political purposes, a person with knowledge of the case told
The Associated Press.
The person wasn't authorized to release the information before the hearing and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Wildstein was an official at the Port Authority of New York and New
Jersey at the time of the tie-ups. It's not clear what charge or charges
Wildstein will plead to. He will be the first person to admit to
committing a crime in causing the series of politically motivated
traffic jams in 2013.
announced an 11 a.m. court hearing in Newark and an early afternoon news
conference. The office, which Christie led before stepping down in 2008
to run for governor, has not said who will appear in court and didn't
release any other details on the investigation.
So we don't even know what crime was charged here, but this is one of the most despicable abuses of government power in a long time in the sheer wanton cruelty of it. To punish the people of a city who must commute into New York because of a political disagreement with the leaders of the city (who work in town and don't commute) is mind-bogglingly evil.
Extending the presumption of innocence, I will assume for now that Gov. Christie knew nothing of this particular operation. Even so, a leader establishes a tone and a culture for his office. He does that through his own words and actions and through his selection of the people to staff the office. This office had a culture where someone could do something so cynically, despicably cruel, and nobody goes running to the boss to say, "Oh my God, do you know what this jackass is doing?!" Is that the kind of office culture we want in the West Wing?