Report by Christie’s lawyers clear him in toll lane scandal
Craig D. Frazier | 4/3/2014, 1:16 p.m.
Lawyers hired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at taxpayers’ expense concluded that the governor and members of his staff played no role in the toll lane closures that caused massive gridlock on the world’s busiest bridge from Sept. 9-13, 2013.
In the report, lawyers from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher said they interviewed 70 people, including Christie, and studied 250,000 documents, including private phone records for Christie and his top aides.
New Jersey state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, one of the co-chairs of the state probe, said she was “willing to accept Gov. Christie’s side of the story all along” but maintained that the report was missing several documents, including “the list of 70 people that were interviewed,” as well as transcripts.
Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, whose former chief of staff conducted the review, admitted that the report left many questions about the George Washington Bridge lane closures unanswered. He said there were no interviews from those involved in the heart of the scandal, former Christie aide Bridget Anne Kelly, former Port Authority Director of Interstate Capital Projects David Wildstein and former Christie Campaign Manager Bill Stepien.
“I would not accept this as a complete investigation,” said Giuliani on Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “But this report has gone as far as anybody could go.”
In other reports, Kelly, Wildstein and Stepien blasted the study. Kelly’s lawyer, Michael Critchley, also disparaged the report by a law firm handpicked by Christie, saying “The only credible investigation into the lane closings is being conducted by the U.S. attorney’s office.”