Ex-Christie Staffer: Bridge-Gate Email Writer 'Overstressed'

Tuesday, 06 May 2014 04:31 PM

By John A. Oswald

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The former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who wrote the email calling for "traffic troubles in Fort Lee" was not the type who would have independently orchestrated the George Washington Bridge-gate plot, one of her ex-aides suggested Tuesday, The New York Times reported.

Bridget Anne Kelly's now infamous email has dealt a major blow to Christie's presidential ambitions and opened the door wider for a possible Jeb Bush Republican primary run.

Overflow traffic on the world's busiest bridge spilled into the streets of Fort Lee, N.J., in a deliberate bid to punish the town's mayor, who backed the Republican governor's Democratic opponent, the theory goes.

Christie has insisted he knew nothing and has tried to point much of the collective finger right at Kelly.

But Kelly's former colleague in the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs painted what was at times an unflattering portrait.

"Enormously overwhelmed," Christina Renna told lawmakers in what was the first public testimony from officials tied to the scandal. "Enormously overstressed with day-to-day life," she said in the hearing, which aired live on NJTV.

A Democrat leading the charge in a New Jersey legislative probe said in hearings Tuesday that Kelly was not the type to act without authorization in the many years he worked with her when she served as a GOP legislative aide.

"The answer was always, 'Let me go back to the governor's office and check.'"

Renna said that was her experience, too.

"She was constantly checking before she made a decision," said Renna, adding that she "had no knowledge or involvement" in the scandal.

But she did relay how she made a copy of an email that Kelly asked her to delete that was critical of the Fort Lee mayor.

"I protected myself," Renna said, according to NJ.com. "I thought it was strange, and I thought she was paranoid."

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