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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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January 8th, 2014
07:24 PM ET

Christie aides tied to political payback plan

(CNN) - Some pundits say that how New Jersey Governor Chris Christie responds to his latest crisis, could determine whether or not he has a chance of being president. It all has to do with accusations of a political vendetta.

Of particular alarm for Christie supporters is this direct quote from one of his top aids to an executive at the Port Authority: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

E-mails obtained by CNN tie Christie's administration to lane closures on the George Washington Bridge, the busiest bridge in the world, which connects Fort Lee, New Jersey, to New York City. The September closures were blamed for days of massive traffic jams in Fort Lee.

So let's say you're making your last-chance power drive on the Jersey Turnpike. Maybe you've got a school bus full of screaming kids, or you're driving an ambulance. And you run into an epic traffic jam - created, as the e-mails suggest, out of political spite.

Critics have said it was all retaliation against the Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who didn't endorse Christie's election bid. Christie has denied it. Earlier today, after the e-mails came out - the governor canceled his only public event of the day.

All the claims against his office were merely allegations - until today. CNN's Jake Tapper reports.

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