Gov. Christie to take questions about bridge scandal

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will hold a news conference Thursday morning to discuss a growing scandal over closed lanes on the George Washington Bridge.

E-mails and texts indicating Christie aides may have plotted to cause traffic jams as political retribution against a local mayor have sparked a firestorm. The scandal threatens Christie as he looks ahead to a potential bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Christie said in a statement Wednesday that he was "outraged and deeply saddened" by the e-mails and texts and knew nothing about the scheme. He will take questions from reporters at 11 a.m. ET at his office in Trenton.

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Several news organizations obtained copies of the communications, and the bridge scandal is being investigated by state lawmakers. David Wildstein, a top Christie appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is scheduled to testify later today before a state Assembly transportation committee.

Wildstein, a high school friend of the governor, resigned in December. He was the recipient of a message in August from Bridget Kelly, Christie's deputy chief of staff, who wrote,"Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." Weeks later, Wildstein closed two of the tree lanes connecting Fort Lee to the heavily traveled George Washington Bridge.

Pleas from Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich went unheeded as the traffic jams continued. Sokolich, a Democrat, did not endorse Christie for re-election, during a campaign in which he stressed his ability to work across the aisle with political rivals.

The bridge delays reportedly slowed emergency workers trying to respond four calls, according to the Bergen Record. The newspaper reported one of those calls involved an unconscious 91-year-old woman, who later died.

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