When it comes to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) it’s become something of a challenge to keep up with unfolding developments. “Scandal” has become “scandals.” “Investigation” has become “investigations.” “Round of subpoenas” has become “several round of subpoenas.”
And as of yesterday afternoon, four resignations has become five.
A member of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s administration who has been subpoenaed in the investigation of the September bridge lane closures has resigned.Christina Genovese Renna – one of 17 people with ties to Christie subpoenaed by a legislative panel – exited the governor’s office Friday, according to a statement provided to NBC News on Sunday by her lawyer, Henry Klingeman.
According to the official story, Renna has been “considering” a change since early November, but decided to wait until yesterday to step down.
She’s the fifth Christie administration official related to the bridge scandal to resign or get fired since December, following David Wildstein, Bill Baroni, Bridget Anne Kelly, and Bill Stepien.
Renna’s name will likely be familiar to those who’ve followed the scandal closely. Not only was Renna, who served as Christie’s “director of departmental relations,” subpoenaed as part of the ongoing investigation, she’s also one of the officials close to the governor who appeared aware of the scheme to cripple Fort Lee last September with deliberate, paralyzing traffic.
According to publicly available documents, on Sept. 12, 2013, Renna sent a note to Bridget Anne Kelly, her immediate supervisor, noting the Fort Lee mayor believed the “feeling in town that it is government retribution for something.”
But wait, there’s more.
The Wall Street Journal reported today:
An attorney with close ties to Gov. Chris Christie’s administration helped prepare an official who gave now-discredited testimony that lane closures at the George Washington Bridge were part of a traffic study, officials said.Philip Kwon, a top attorney at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, spent parts of four to five days helping to prepare Bill Baroni, then the authority’s deputy executive director and its top executive appointment by Mr. Christie, before he spoke to a New Jersey legislative committee on Nov. 25, a person familiar with the matter said. […]New Jersey Democrats have questioned why Mr. Baroni needed so much preparation before his committee testimony.
Remember, in practical terms, Baroni’s testimony about the made-up “traffic study” was effectively the beginning of the cover-up, at least as it relates to misleading the public and state lawmakers.
After that testimony, Baroni sent text messages back and forth to David Wildstein, asking whether the Christie administration was satisfied with his performance. We now know Baroni spent days preparing with a top attorney at the Port Authority and prominent Christie ally to tell state lawmakers things that now appear to be untrue.
As for the Hoboken story, it now appears a federal grand jury investigation is underway and the U.S. Attorney’s office has issued subpoenas as part of this probe, too.
Rachel will have a lot more on this on tonight’s show, and take my word for it, you’ll want to tune in.