Talk of the closure of several lanes of traffic in Fort Lee, New Jersey as an apparent act of political retribution by senior members of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration has faded from the national headlines. But, the investigation into who knew what when -- and most importantly whether Christie knew more then he has said he did -- is ongoing.
On Tuesday, Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak testified before a select committee in the state legislature convened to look into Bridgegate. Here's how Darryl Isherwood of NJ.com summed up Drewniak's testimony:
Michael Drewniak, the chief spokesman for Gov. Chris Christie's administration, testified today that he informed members of the governor’s senior staff in early November that he had been told that administration staffers were aware of or involved in lane diversions at the George Washington Bridge that snarled traffic in Fort Lee during the second week in September.
Drewniak also said the fact that Democrats known to be Christie’s critics had pressed the bridged controversy helped color how the governor’s office initially reacted to the issue.
In short: Plenty of tough questions about what Christie -- and other senior officials -- knew and when they knew it, but no smoking gun that contradicts the account Christie has given of when he found out about the political motives behind the lane closures. "I can say with complete confidence and comfort that none of these people — starting with Gov. Chris Christie — had any involvement whatsoever in this reckless and perplexing episode," Drewniak told the committee.
The slow pace of the select committee's work is due, at least in part, to the refusal of Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien -- two key figures in the probe -- to turn over documents related to the investigation. It's further complicated by a federal investigation into the matter.
Christie, who has made no secret of his interest in the 2016 race, would assuredly like the investigations to conclude sooner rather than later. But, as long as neither one winds up contradicting his basic recounting of what he knew, he looks likely to survive a major bump in his road to the presidential campaign.