What to Know
- Sources say there is a 50-50 chance the Assembly will pursue impeachment of the governor
- The trial has produced allegations Christie knew about politically motivated lane closings
- Christie is near the end of his second term as governor
Key members of the New Jersey Assembly have begun researching whether or not to bring articles of impeachment against Gov. Chris Christie, NBC 4 New York has learned.
This follows early testimony in the George Washington Bridge scandal trial, which some Assembly members believe shows the Republican governor had more knowledge of the lane closures in Fort Lee during and after that week in 2013 then he has led the public to believe.
One committee chairman who did not want to be named said "clearly obstruction of justice" would be an obvious charge against the governor.
The legislator told NBC 4 New York the chances are probably 50-50 that the assembly would pursue impeachment.
A Christie spokesman offered a one-word response to the report: "Ridiculous."
The decision on impeachment will be up to Democratic Speaker Vincent Prieto and if he gives the go-ahead, the Assembly Judiciary Committee would begin the process.
It takes a majority of the 80-member Assembly to vote articles of impeachment.
If it passes the Democrat-controlled body, the trial would be in the Senate, where two-thirds of senators would be needed to convict. Although Democrats hold a majority in the Senate, they would need three Republican senators to join them if all Democrats vote to convict.
Christie is nearing the end of his second term, with a new governor due to be sworn in 16 months from now. The one-time presidential candidate and key Donald Trump advisor is often mentioned as a possible attorney general in a Trump administration.
Earlier this month, Christie acknowledged to MSNBC that the bridge scandal was likely a factor in Trump passing him over for vice president.