After two months, 70 interviews and more than $1 million in legal
fees paid by New Jersey taxpayers, the internal review is complete
and has found no evidence Christie was involved with planning or
directing the lane closures which snarled traffic in the borough of
Fort Lee, New Jersey, according to a report published in The New
Christie found himself engulfed in controversy earlier this year
after emails revealed that two of his senior aides had called for
lane closures leading to the busy George Washington Bridge last
September, apparently as political retribution against a Democratic
mayor who didn't endorse the governor's re-election.
New Jersey lawmakers and the U.S. Attorney's office in New Jersey
announced parallel investigations into the closures, and Christie,
who has maintained that he was "blindsided" by his staff's
involvement, hired a private law firm to conduct his own review of
what had occurred.
The results of the review are expected to be met with skepticism
because the investigation was commissioned by the governor and was
carried out by the private law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP,
which has close ties to the Christie administration, the newspaper
The attorney leading the review, Randy Mastro, a deputy mayor under
former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, said attorneys had
unprecedented access to the governor and his office's internal
communications and records. Mastro said Christie handed over his
iPhone, telephone records and allowed investigators to search his
private and government email accounts.
However, the review did not have access to three of the scheme's
central figures, including Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor's former
deputy chief of staff who apparently kicked off the lane closures by
sending an email that read "time for some traffic problems in Fort
[to top of second column]
Kelly and Christie's former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, have
been subpoenaed by a state investigative committee seeking documents
and emails related to the lane closures and the aftermath. Both have
refused to comply, arguing the subpoenaed documents would violate
due process and their constitutional guarantee against self
Stepien's attorney on Monday filed additional documents outlining
opposition to the subpoena and to what he called an "errant filing"
when the investigative committee last week released previously
unseen emails appearing to show Stepien's role in the traffic
It is not known whether the investigation will give insight into
questions of whether Christie condones a culture of intimidation.
The outspoken Republican has been accused of being a bully.
A New Jersey Democrat helping to lead the state probe into the lane
closures, Senator Loretta Weinberg, called the review "too little,
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; editing by Scott Malone and Sofina
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