NEWARK - New Jersey House and Senate Democrats are talking up what it would take to impeach Republican Gov. Chris Christie, which would be a first for the state.

The possibility of impeachment became more of an option after opening arguments in the Bridge-Gate trial this week during which it was alleged that Christie knew about the lane closures on Sept. 11, three days after they began. If that can be proven, some lawmakers concede, impeachment could be an option.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the co-chair of the state legislative committee to investigate Bridge-Gate, says it will take a "hard and clear" evidence to compel the Assembly to being impeachment proceedings.

The state Assembly would bring the charges in an impeachment and the trial would be carried out in the Senate. State Sen. Loretta Weinberg says the timing of a trial would be paramount.

"We would be dealing with a governor who is going out of office anyway," Weinberg says. "And I don't know whether the time and energy and effort based on the timing is actually worth it."

Wisniewski says the Bridge-Gate trial will "further erode the public confidence in government and the Port Authority, because people will see how seamy and disgusting the agency is."

The governor's office has not yet responded to comment from Friday's court proceedings.