In New Jersey yesterday, two former allies of Chris Christie were indicted in the bridge-closing fiasco of 2013, and a third pleaded guilty. And even though the latter continues to insist that the governor knew of the plan, no evidence has emerged so far to support that. Christie immediately issued a statement declaring that he'd been vindicated, notes AP: “Today’s charges make clear that what I’ve said from Day One is true, I had no knowledge or involvement in the planning or execution of this act." A look at some reaction:
- Star-Ledger: The scandal isn't over and the state is a mess, which means it's time for Christie to give up his "doomed" campaign for president and focus on being New Jersey's governor, declares an editorial. "If he won't do that, he should at least stop accepting his $175,000 salary. Because let's face it: The man is not doing the job we hired him to do."
- Politico: "Friday was a bad day for Chris Christie," writes Alex Isenstadt. "But it could have been a lot worse." He couldn't launch a 2016 campaign with this case in legal limbo, and now maybe he can. But "his biggest selling point—his image as a truth-teller—has been called into question."
- New York Times: Christie is trying to dodge responsibility, but "these are his people" who were working under a culture that he cultivated, says an editorial. "Mr. Christie can’t slough these problems off on hired hands. They belong to the man in charge."
- FiveThirtyEight: "Chris Christie's Access Lanes To The GOP Nomination Are Closed," declares the headline on a post to that effect from Harry Enten.
- The (Bergen) Record: Christie's camp isn't reacting with triumph so much as a sigh of relief, writes Charles Stile. But "the fog of scandal" still lingers. "How can Christie make the case for effective, strong leadership when three of his top lieutenants allegedly carried out this stranger-than-fiction scheme right under his nose?"
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