TODAY   |  January 11, 2014

Buono on bridge controversy: New Jersey deserves answers

More information has come to light following allegations that lane closures on the George Washington Bridge were politically motivated. The former political rival of Gov. Chris Christie, Barbara Buono, is calling for more investigation. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports.

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>>> details are trickling out this morning about the george washington bridge traffic scandal that has threatened to derail new jersey governor chris christie 's presidential hopes. after sifting through some 2,000 pages of e-mails, nbc news has learned that christie 's appointee personally showed up to watch the lane closures on the bridge. kelly o'donnell is in trenton , new jersey, this morning with what this all may mean for chris christie . kelly , good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. good to see you, lester . as state lawmakers here investigate, as journalists continue to pore through documents and the public makes its own judgments about what happened, governor christie is preparing for a second term and what is supposed to be a celebration for his upcoming inaugural. and all of this is overshadowing his political standing and his political future is uncertain. the governor's image problem in bold face across trenton 's front page . and on the upcoming cover of "the new yorker" magazine.

>> christie created this atmosphere where people, i guess, feel okay or think, hey, this is how we do things in the christie administration. you don't mess with us.

>> reporter: christie has no public appearances scheduled this weekend and made none friday.

>> i have absolutely nothing to hide.

>> reporter: letting reaction to his thursday marathon news conference and his repeated apologies play out.

>> this is a bad time for governor christie , but he's going to have an opportunity to show his meddle, to show what he's made of.

>> reporter: this bridge traffic scandal put much of the 2016 speculation on pause.

>> i am absolutely nowhere near beginning that consideration process. i haven't even been sworn in for my second term yet.

>> reporter: christie 's political foes see an opening and want more investigations.

>> i think the people of new jersey deserve more answers. there are an awful lot of questions that remain unresolved.

>> reporter: some information may come from examining those 2,000 pages released by a state assembly committee friday, e-mails about the ordered traffic jam . christie denied any knowledge of his appointees' actions. and while four top aides are already gone, christie 's leadership may be damaged, too.

>> he's going to pay a high price for it, at least in the short term.

>> reporter: and one of the things that will need to be dealt with is really trying to get to the why, and maybe the documents can shed some light on that. christie focused so much on talking to reporters about his frustration, his anger, his humiliation, he said, about top aides lying to him. he claims he has no knowledge of what actually went on. it's still unclear, lester , why anyone as close to christie as these officials were would use something like a traffic jam to impact constituents intended to benefit the governor politically. that's one of those nagging questions that remains unclear right now. lester ?

>> all right, kelly o'donnell in trenton for us this morning. thank you.