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Trove of Emails, Other Documents in Christie Scandal Set for Release

More questions than answers following day of testimony and statements by New Jersey governor

- Jon Queally, staff writer

The scandal surrounding Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey is likely to deepen, if not intensify, on Friday as a trove of subpoenaed documents related to the case are slated to be released into the public domain.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leaves City Hall Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, in Fort Lee, N.J. Christie traveled to Fort Lee to apologize in person to Mayor Mark Sokolich. Moving quickly to contain a widening political scandal, Christie fired one of his top aides Thursday and apologized repeatedly for the "abject stupidity" of his staff, insisting he had no idea anyone around him had engineered traffic jams to get even with a Democratic mayor. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) As the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports:

Thousands of documents subpoenaed by a state Assembly committee looking into the George Washington Bridge scandal are expected to be released [Friday] morning.

Assembly officials said the documents, including additional emails and communications from former officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, are now part of the public record and will be posted online.

Some of the emails were released on Wednesday and offered a stunning look into the exchanges between a top Port Authority executive with ties to Gov. Chris Christie, and the governor’s deputy chief of staff, who joked about causing traffic jams in Fort Lee after several local lanes of the George Washington Bridge were suddenly shut, in what critics believe was political retribution targeting the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, who did not endorse the Republican governor for re-election.

Christie, who said “the conduct in those emails is unacceptable to me,” yesterday fired the aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, and apologized for what happened, but said he had no knowledge of the operation.

On Thursday night, following a day of public testimony about the case at the State House and the lengthy morning press conference by Gov. Christie, more questions than answers were swirling about the nature of the scandal, its motivations, and how it would ultimately play out for the governor's political future.

In a new theory put forward by MSNBC news anchor and journalist Rachel Maddow on Thursday, a compelling case was made that the reason for the behavior of the governor's staff had more to do with a bitter battle between Democratic lawmakers and the governor's office over New Jersey Supreme Court nominees than the refusal of a relatively small town mayor to endorse Christie for reelection.

The Maddow segment runs roughly seventeen minutes, but is worth watching:

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