Chris Christie Lawyers' Report Clears Christie Of Blame, And Hints Fired Staffer Bridget Kelly Was Hysterical. Say What?
Well, that's sorted, then! Several months since New Jersey's #Bridgegate, the allegedly-deliberate lane closures at the George Washington Bridge that implicated Gov. Chris Christie and his administration, several lawyers (that Christie hired) have determined that neither Christie, nor his staffers, had anything to do with the lane closures. The lawyers (that Christie hired) also concluded that Christie wasn't aware of the plan.
The group of attorneys from Gibson, Dunn, and Crutcher LLP released a report along with their announcement — a report that allegedly cost taxpayers about $1 million. In the report, which was based on interviews with over 70 witnesses and information reviewed from over 250,000 documents, the lawyers debunked several claims.
For example, that of David Wildstein, the Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closures, who said he informed Christie's press secretary, Michael Drewniak, of the closures at a Sept. 11 memorial meeting. However, Christie alleged that he did not remember this announcement at the memorial. The report concluded that there was no evidence that demonstrated Christie knew about it.
In the past, some have theorized that Christie's negative feelings toward Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee, New Jersey — the town that the bridge is connected to — was why the administration could have orchestrated #Bridgegate. (Sokolich hadn't endorsed Christie for reelection.) While Christie's bad relations with Sokolich were well-known by the administration, the report attests, there's no evidence to establish that Christie had politically retaliated against Sokolich by provoking the lane closures.
The only member of Christie's staff, in fact, that the report found to be involved in the lane closures was Bridget Kelly, Christie's former Deputy Chief of Staff, whom Christie fired after the scandal broke. Kelly apparently sent an infamous email on Aug. 13 last year to Wildstein: "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
More scandalously, the report alleges that Kelly and Bill Stepien, former campaign manager for Christie, were in a personal relationship, which eventually "cooled down" around Aug. 2013. In the report's own words, Kelly's personal relationship with Stepien "may have had some bearing on her subjective motivations and state of mind."
It should be pointed out here, once again that a) These lawyers were hired by Christie, and b) casting one of the women involved in the events as "crazy" or "hysterical" doesn't suggest the lawyers had a lot else to fall back on.
Read the full report below if you wish...