Oh boy. Is this going to be the day that destroys Chris Christie's presidential ambitions for good? Stay tuned! Via the New York Times:
A former Port Authority official and ally of Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is expected to plead guilty on Friday to the first charges stemming from the 16-month federal investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closings scandal.
The United States attorney for New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman, announced early on Friday that there would be a “proceeding of interest in a criminal matter” related to the closings at 11 a.m. in front of Judge Susan D. Wigenton in United States District Court in Newark. Mr. Fishman will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. to discuss the investigation, breaking his long silence over the inquiry.
David Wildstein, a high school classmate of Mr. Christie’s who ordered the closing of several access lanes to the bridge in September 2013, was expected to plead guilty before Judge Wigenton, according to people familiar with the case. The United States attorney’s office declined to comment on those or other details beyond the news conference.
The exact charges Mr. Wildstein would plead guilty to were not immediately clear. Typically, he would appear in court to answer a series of questions confirming the details he was acknowledging in his plea.
That plea will be heavily watched for what Mr. Wildstein indicates about what role – if any — Mr. Christie had in the lane closings, which gridlocked the town of Fort Lee, N.J., over four days, stranding emergency vehicles, commuters and school buses.