It has been falsely predicted many times in the last year, but now it seems to be true: The federal investigation into the lane closings at the George Washington Bridge appears to be coming to a head, with an announcement of indictments as early as next week.
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.
What is less certain is whether prosecutors will find crimes in the other ways Mr. Christie used his powers in the service of political ambition. He used Port Authority money to fill holes in his budget; his lieutenants doled out flags and steel from the remnants of the World Trade Center to woo mayors whose endorsements they sought. An office of “intergovernmental affairs” worked to cultivate endorsements, all in the hopes that the governor could use a huge winning margin to argue that he was the Republican most likely to win the White House in 2016.Investigators months ago subpoenaed records from officials at the authority and Mr. Christie’s 2013 campaign regarding Jersey City, where Christie administration officials canceled a day’s worth of meetings that had been set up with the city’s new mayor after he told the campaign that he would endorse the governor’s opponent. Those records could be used to establish a pattern of punishing local officials.Investigators have also questioned potential witnesses about efforts by the Christie administration to cover up the political motives behind the lane closings, explaining them as a traffic study.
Got my popcorn ready and everything.
Shall we take a pool out on who gets indicted?