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Report states Christie not involved in Bridgegate

Governor Chris Christie
Governor Chris Christie
Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Today, a report published by a private law firm that Governor Chris Christie hired to explore the events that have come to be recognized as” Bridgegate “, confirms that the Governor of New Jersey was not involved in the cases that led to the traffic tie-up at the George Washington Bridge in September 2013. The taxpayer-funded report released by former federal prosecutor Randy Mastro relies on interviews with Christie and other functionaries in his administration and 250,000 documents, many of them emails and text messages.

According to Mastro, "we found that Gov. Christie had no knowledge in advance of this George Washington Bridge realignment idea," Mastro said at a news conference. The report was set for release by the New York law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which bears tight ties to the Christie administration, at about 11:30 am. m. New Jersey lawmakers and the U.S. Attorney's office in New Jersey are undertaking parallel investigations into the traffic tie-up.

Governor Christie, fired the staff members and denied any involvement, was required to be acquitted by the report that took two months, involved 70 interviews and cost more than $1 million in legal fees paid by New Jersey taxpayers. The report was led by Randy Mastro, who was a deputy mayor under New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Mastro was granted unlimited access to cell phone records, internal communications, private email and government email accounts.

The September closure of lanes near the bridge that caused four days of massive gridlock in the community of Fort Lee have become a major scandal for Christie, who is a possible 2016 Republican presidential contender.

Subpoenaed emails released January 8th revealed that the lane closures were actually political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, who had refused to endorse Christie’s reelection bid. The damning emails were between Christie deputy Bridget Anne Kelly and David Wildstein, the Christie-appointed Port Authority executive who ordered the lane closures. According to the emails between Kelly and Wildstein, state “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” Kelly emailed Wildstein. “Got it”, Wildstein replied. According to Christie, he had no idea any of this was happening on his behalf. Christie stated at that time, “What I’ve seen today for the first time is unacceptable. I am outraged and deeply saddened to learn that not only was I misled by a member of my staff, but this completely inappropriate and unsanctioned conduct was made without my knowledge.”