Chris Christie | New Jersey | News | Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow Presents New, Brilliant Theory of Why Christie's #Bridgegate Happened: VIDEO


If you haven't been watching Rachel Maddow's coverage of the Christie 'Bridgegate' scandal, she has been owning it for the last month (before it broke wide open), and last night she presented a new theory — that the Fort Lee traffic jam was not retaliation over the lack of endorsement from the mayor.

Mediaite explains: Weinberg

In 2010, Christie took the unprecedented step of refusing to reappoint a New Jersey Supreme Court justice for another term, which set off the New Jersey Democrats, who got back at Christie by shooting down all the other Supreme Court justice nominees he put forward.

So when a Republican member of the New Jersey Supreme Court came up for reappointment last year, NJ Senate Democrats promised to make it a brutal fight, so Christie decided to stop the reappointment. He was furious at Senate Democrats, and held a press conference getting really angry with them.

That press conference, expressing much anger with Senate Democrats, was held on August 12, 2013, a day before the Bridgegate e-mail was sent. And Fort Lee, the town that got backed up, is part of the legislative district represented by Loretta Weinberg. The leader of the Senate Democrats.

Maddow concluded, “Until someone who knows the actual truth about this speaks, it remains a wide-open question.”

Weinberg joined Maddow for a second segment.

Watch both of them, AFTER THE JUMP...

Interview with Weinberg:

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  1. Too bad she hasn't been as in depth about the IRS scandal.

    Posted by: Perry | Jan 10, 2014 9:07:07 AM

  2. Since it's now well established you're a GOProud shill on here Perry, let me be the first to shatter your hopes and dreams in informing you the IRS targeted both sides and there was no real scandal. You tried though.

    Posted by: Leo | Jan 10, 2014 9:09:56 AM

  3. AMAZING! She does have a great staff for investigative work!

    Posted by: HereinDC | Jan 10, 2014 9:20:52 AM

  4. I love how on the comments section of any story about this Christie scandal there is an echo chamber of 'IRS Scandal, IRS Scandal.' Almost as if there was a coordinated effort to try and distract... hmmm.

    But just like Benghazi - when all is said and done there is not scandal just the right-wing echo chamber.

    Thanks for playing...try again.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 10, 2014 9:32:49 AM

  5. The classic RWing strategy: When faced with a scandal in your own party, point to the shiny object over there.

    Posted by: skittlesnt | Jan 10, 2014 9:44:25 AM

  6. I love her reporting, but if you think about it, this isn't new information. So why is she just now figuring this out. All of these things were public prior to the release of the emails. I wonder if she's been sitting on the connection waiting for the bridge issue to take center stage. Nothing wrong with that, I'm just curious why the "new" information we have regarding emails somehow makes this more or less plausible.

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 10, 2014 9:53:21 AM

  7. It's too bad she hasn't been as diligent about Benghazi, or using the IRS for political purposes, or "if you like your coverage, you can keep it."

    I guess that would distract from being a leader of the Hallelujah Chorus, though.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Jan 10, 2014 9:56:56 AM

  8. Oh look, its LincolnLounger!

    ALL of the GOProud shills are showing up! YAY! :D

    Posted by: Leo | Jan 10, 2014 10:00:01 AM

  9. At this point, who believes a word out of Christie's mouth? I don't.

    Posted by: Truthiness | Jan 10, 2014 10:07:13 AM

  10. To be fair, Rachel Maddow has covered in detail the IRS "scandal" and Benghazi. Just because you do not agree with her reporting does not mean she has ignored it the way Fox News ignored the bridge scandal for the first 24 hours.

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 10, 2014 10:12:17 AM

  11. .....This story is just getting bigger and bigger.....this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    How come Darrell Issa hasn't called for Congressional hearing?

    TEN's OF THOUSDANDS of people effected for 4 days of gridlock...

    btw, I think it's about 50 cents per post the trolls are paid.

    Posted by: HereinDC | Jan 10, 2014 10:21:32 AM

  12. Looking forward to the U.S. attorney most likely handing out indictments later this year, then a trial sometime next year. This is going to stick to Christie like crazy glue.

    For the GOP trolls on this site, perhaps you should find someone other than Darrell "Grand Theft Auto" Issa to lead your investigations, because he's turned up bupkis on Fast & Furious, the IRS nonsense and most of all Benghazi. Ha, Ha, Ha.

    Posted by: dearcomrade | Jan 10, 2014 10:21:46 AM

  13. I'll never quite understand the Benghazi "scandal." In recent years Americans at all levels of power and influence have also been killed in Egypt, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. Libya is inherently unstable---an American was recently killed there while jogging, and no one seemed to care. Why was Benghazi such a mega-scandal relative to the others?

    Four people were killed, which is terrible. But people are killed every day almost everywhere. Pretending that it's about intentional Democrat-led lapses in security doesn't exactly explain why thousands of soldiers died in Iraq under Bush because you "go to war with what you've got, not what you need." As for the IRS scandal, even the tea party dropped that one given that it was such a patently false accusation.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 10, 2014 10:28:05 AM

  14. The great white hope of the Republican Party turns into a beached whale. Or something like that.

    A team of rescuers has rushed to the scene to try and keep the whale afloat. How many will get crushed as the whale turns?

    Good job Rachel.

    Posted by: james st. james | Jan 10, 2014 10:29:40 AM

  15. @ Sam

    What's new is the date of the first email. She has placed the closing into a logical timeline that makes more sense than the one that was suggested before.

    It doesn't make sense that Christie would target the Mayor of Fort Lee. It does make sense that he would target the district of the Democratic State Senate leader.

    And the "Why now?" was a great way to sleuth out the answer. It's a great piece of reporting. It rings true and, suddenly, the whole incident makes sense.

    I bet that Christie knew about this retribution - even if he didn't know specifically what it was going to be. He was angry and probably told an aide to do something about it.

    My bet is that he will resign within 6 months. I hate to make comparisons to Watergate, but this is beginning to feel like that. Very soon, we are going to hear, "What did he know and when did he know it?"

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Jan 10, 2014 11:20:25 AM


    I'm not sure it rings that true. The timing factor was easily deduced already by the timing of the lane shutdown. The email only provides superfluous information. And what the emails lack is any apparently mention of Weinberg at all.

    Not that motivation really matters here. I just questioned why everyone thought this was brilliant deduction when the timing of the lane closures presented the same deducible conclusion as the emails essentially. I have a feeling when more documents are released, it won't be a targeting of Weinberg. At least not as the only motivation.

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 10, 2014 11:38:17 AM

  17. Well, the fact a federal prosecutor is getting involved will mean this isn't going away anytime soon. Even though it's very unlikely any crimes were committed (the port authority can close bridge lanes at will), the purpose of the investigation is to keep this in the news. This is the rare case of an entirely political scandal. People have been addicted to the notion that scandals=crimes, which isn't always the case.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 10, 2014 12:06:22 PM

  18. Well, that's the first thing I've heard regarding this that makes any sense at all.

    Posted by: Randy | Jan 10, 2014 1:07:44 PM

  19. ........You know how at the end of a murder mystery the dectective ( Hercule Poirot ) takes his time and lays out all the evidence....

    Well, that's how Rachel laid out the evidence....she took her time...and WHAM!

    Posted by: HereinDC | Jan 10, 2014 1:25:21 PM

  20. Plenty of crimes have been broken. The Port Authority cannot close lanes "at will" when that will is ordered by the governor's office.

    Rachel's show did some interesting sleuthing/reporting. I'm not convinced the judgeship kerfluffle is the reason for the governor's office retribution ... but it makes much more sense than the lame endorsement theory.

    Of course, the entire thing didn't make much sense. But, as I was recently reminded, neither did the literal mother of all scandalgates: Watergate. Nixon was way ahead in polls in all 50 states, and had no logical reason to order the break-in to Democratic headquarters. The commentator who reminded me of this opined the Nixon thing AND the Christie thing and hundreds of ill-advised conspiracies like them are due to the arrogance of power. And, alas, I find that all too easy to believe.

    Posted by: Zlick | Jan 10, 2014 1:34:47 PM

  21. Seriously now, anyone who can say Maddow is not biased for the democrats would be blind to the fox network being biased for the GOP. It is upsetting that we, mostly younger generation, accept the garbage our government throws at us. The idea that we are not screaming about NSA files, IRS abuses, facebook harvesting, phone call storage, is shocking. As long as we act like we are part of the Dems of GOP instead of the PEOPLE. The way it stands now it should be US against the abuses of the government. I can see the handlers in both parties laughing as they say: GOP "point out how Christie acted better than Obama in dealing with a problem and let the minions argue over that" or the Dems saying " point out how Bush dealt with individual rights vs Obama reporter targeting". The political heads are playing us.

    Posted by: tyler | Jan 10, 2014 1:43:20 PM

  22. Paul, Benghazi murders were on US soil. The embassy is US soil and is to be protected by the government as such. The four murder victims (including our ambassador) were there as representative of our country. It is different than an American being killed jogging or in a warzone.

    Posted by: tyler | Jan 10, 2014 1:52:11 PM

  23. @Tyler (who's actually someone pretending to be the Tyler who usually posts): Of course Maddow is biased, duh. She doesn't pretend not to be. Hers is a show with a liberal POV. Any thinking person can look at her reporting, or Sean Hannity's (or whoever's) reporting, and decide for themselves whether they think it's credible. Anyone who swallows any POV without question is indeed showing their gullibility, but, if you're informed, sharing the opinion of someone like Maddow doesn't necessarily mean you're getting played.

    On the subject of Chris Christie and the bridge (though a few here suddenly want to talk about the IRS and Benghazi--weirdly, since they're old news), whatever the reason why there was retaliation, it makes little sense that the big guy's staff did this on their own since their boss is a bullying micro-manager. The why he did it is open to question, but the if he was involved isn't much of an if. Only a question of how much of a trail he left, and why he did such a stupid thing to begin with.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 10, 2014 2:00:03 PM

  24. Sounds like the NJ Democrats also play politics like petulant brats, though their version of retaliation didn't target innocent people.

    Posted by: Don W | Jan 10, 2014 2:19:22 PM

  25. did not see any other tyler on the thread, but to be clear I added my initial. If there is a Tyler W just tell me, don't assume I am pretending to be that person as well.
    As for being played, I do believe we all are being played. By keeping the country so divided and hostile towards each other the career politicians direct our anger towards each other and not them. Too many people, including reporters, are willing to accept this role.
    Christie, he has always been a bully. All the popularity ha gone to his head. He believes the hype, and that leas to a bad public servant.

    Posted by: tyler W | Jan 10, 2014 2:49:24 PM

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