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In another exchange, Mr. Sokolich sought help from Bill Baroni, Mr. Christie’s top appointee at the Port Authority who also has since resigned, telling him that the traffic tie-up was preventing children from getting to school and “it’s maddening.”

Some unknown Christie aides and appointees apparently laughed off his plea for help.

“Is it wrong that I am smiling?” someone said.

“No,” another responded.

“I feel badly about the kids.”

To which another responded by calling them “the children of Buono voters.”

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich called the gridlock appalling and said it endangered people by slowing first responders. According to the Bergen County Record, at least four Fort Lee emergency medical teams were delayed that day. In one of the four cases, a 91-year-old woman died.

The chairman of the transportation committee in the New Jersey Legislature announced Wednesday that it has subpoenaed Mr. Wildstein to testify Thursday as to why the Port Authority reduced, without notice, the number of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee.

“Mr. Wildstein has repeatedly been painted as the fall guy in this controversy but based on the documents released today, clearly that isn’t so,” said State Assembly Deputy Speaker John S. Wisniewski, the Democrat leading the investigation. “Based on the governor’s previous response regarding his knowledge of the lane closures, either he doesn’t know what’s going on in his front office or he is lying.”

National Democrats gleefully watched the revelations about the man who some analysts have said is the best Republican hope to retake the White House.

“What is crystal clear is that the Governor’s office ordered lane closures that were intended to make first responders experience delays, kids sit gridlocked on the first day of school, and commuters hit log jams, to punish the Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse Chris Christie’s re-election bid,” said Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

The messages “indicate what we’ve come to expect from Gov. Christie — when people oppose him, he exacts retribution. When people question him, he belittles and snidely jokes. And when anyone dares to look into his administration, he bullies and attacks,” she said.

John Currie, chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, said the episode showed that Mr. Christie is more interested in political vindication than public safety.

Gov. Christie owes us an explanation for why his core team appears to have such disdain for the public trust and how they could seriously abuse the power of the governor’s office right under his nose,” Mr. Currie said. “This time, I suggest that the governor try a new approach when answering questions: honesty.”