From Bridgegate to the Trump Campaign

During his opening remarks this morning in the Bridgegate trial of Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni, prosecutor Vikas Khanna insisted that Gov. Chris Christie knew about the closing of multiple lanes on the George Washington Bridge while it was ongoing. Not only that, but he said he has evidence that Baroni and another Christie thug, David Wildstein, had bragged to Christie about their scheme to mess with the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey in retaliation for his refusal endorse Christie’s reelection effort.

Now, Brother Benen says that a lot of Republicans are relieved that Trump didn’t pick Christie as his running mate as it now turns out that he was lying all along and could easily be impeached as a result.

What I think is interesting though is that other people on the periphery of this story have benefitted from Christie’s decision to endorse Trump.

For example, even though Bill Stepien (who twice served as Christie’s campaign manager and as deputy chief of staff) was let go as part of Christie’s effort at damage control of the scandal, he was nevertheless hired by Trump as his national field director.

Another former Christie aide, Matt Mowers, who was the point man in trying to secure the endorsement of Fort Lee’s mayor, Mark Sokolich, is likewise working for Trump’s presidential campaign.

If you’re a loyal lieutenant, you never really get fired. Although, it seems like Christie did sell Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni down the river. The only way he might have saved them is to admit his role in the lane closings, but he asked them to fall on their swords for him. In any case, he couldn’t even attempt to save them without taking responsibility for their actions.

Maybe they’ll get lucky like G. Gordon Liddy or Ollie North and find jobs waiting for them at Trump’s new alt-right news channel. There’s always a place for your Mark Fuhrmans and Charles ‘Tex’ Colsons. And look at Roger Stone. He struts around like he’s never committed a crime in his life.

Still, gridlocking the George Washington Bridge for days just to punish a mayor of the other party for not endorsing you is a dirty trick even Stone wouldn’t have contemplated.

Anyone involved in that scheme should be toxic, but Trump is happy to hire them since he likes how they operate.

Over the years there have been Democrats who resigned in disgrace or went to prison. Somehow, they didn’t wind up with radio and television programs or employed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Why is that?

Martin Longman

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly and the main blogger at Booman Tribune.