Gov. Chris Christe's inner circle continued to implode on Friday with a close ally abruptly resigning and his former deputy chief of staff now willing to talk if she gets immunity.
David Samson, a top Bridgegate figure and the target of a federal probe, quietly surrendered his post as Port Authority chairman. Christie insisted the resignation - effective immediately and tendered under a cloud of suspicion - had nothing to do with the September lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.
Samson’s departure came a day after the results of a widely panned $1 million taxpayer-funded report cleared the governor of any wrongdoing in the Bridgegate scandal. The report did, however, recommend reforms at the bi-state agency that runs the George Washington Bridge.
The Samson resignation may not be Christie’s biggest problem.
Bridget Anne Kelly, who was fired in January, is willing to testify after initially invoking the Fifth Amendment when subpoenaed by a state legislative panel conducting a probe of the Christie administration. But it appears she’ll talk to the feds.
Kelly — whose August 2013 email set the Fort Lee, N.J., gridlock in motion — would fully cooperate if “provided with the appropriate procedural safeguards,” said her lawyer, Michael Critchley.
The defense lawyer made it clear where his client would like to get immunity: “The only credible investigation into the lane closings is being conducted by the U.S. attorney’s office.”
Now there are two former Christie aides willing to talk to the feds in return for immunity - David Wildstein and Bridget Anne Kelly.
And now we have another Christie crony losing his job amid the scandal - Samson, who is connected to the Sandy aid scandal in Hoboken, named in the Bridgegate emails between Wildstein and Kelly, and under investigation from the feds for corruption at the Port Authority.
Want to bet he'll look to talk to save himself if he can?
And no one outside of Chris Christie's wife bought the Christie-connected law firm's report that "exonerated" Christie from Bridgegate.
Christie's got trouble.
A lot of it.