In March, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) handpicked legal team issued a report, which looked an awful lot like taxpayer-financed propaganda, which concluded that the Republican governor didn’t do anything wrong in his bridge scandal. A couple of weeks later, Christie boasted on Fox News he “always knew that this is where it would end.”
It’s a curious attempt at self-exoneration. A scandal breaks, the accused dodges questions and accountability, time elapses, and the person suspected of possible wrongdoing decides it’s time to stop worrying about the unanswered questions.
It’s hard to say whether Christie is trying to convince himself or everyone else, but the New Jersey governor is still at it.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, his political future now resting partly in the hands of a federal prosecutor, huddled with a handful of top Romney bundlers late Friday evening, and spoke on Saturday morning about the need for Republicans to focus on their agreements, not their differences. Asked about his home-state scandal involving the George Washington Bridge, Mr. Christie replied: “It’s over and it’s done with, and I’m moving on.”
“Don’t be so nervous,” Christie told prospective donors, according to one report. “I’m not that worried about it. I hope none of you are worried about it, though I expect some of you are,” the governor added. “But you’ll get over it. It will be fine.”
I’m surprised more politicians caught up in career-destroying scandals don’t try this line. “I’ve decided to exonerate myself,” Christie effectively seems to be arguing. “Ergo, the scandal’s over.”
There’s a fair amount of evidence to the contrary.
I can appreciate why the beleaguered governor would like to put the scandal(s) behind him, but in reality, it’s really not his decision to make.
Federal prosecutors are still investigating the matter and a federal grand jury has heard testimony. There’s also a state legislative probe underway.
And Christie administration officials are still resigning.
Let’s make this plain: Christie’s scandal isn’t over just because Christie wants it to be over.