The New York Times reports today that an inquiry into Bridgegate has found Chris Christie innocent of wrongdoing. Of course, that inquiry was conducted by … Chris Christie’s lawyer, so you might want to take it with a grain of salt.
Now, after 70 interviews and at least $1 million in legal fees to be paid by state taxpayers, that review is set to be released, and according to people with firsthand knowledge of the inquiry, it has uncovered no evidence that the governor was involved in the plotting or directing of the lane closings.
It will be viewed with intense skepticism, not only because it was commissioned by the governor but also because the firm conducting it, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, has close ties to the Christie administration and the firm’s lawyers were unable to interview three principal players in the shutdowns, including Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor’s former deputy chief of staff.
Questioned about the credibility of an internal inquiry, lead lawyer Randy Mastro said there was no incentive to sugarcoat the findings. Any shortcomings of the investigation are likely to be exposed by parallel investigations now underway, by the State Legislature and the United States attorney in New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman.
“At the end of the day, we will be judged by whether we got this right,” said Mr. Mastro, who called the review “comprehensive and exhaustive.”
Other reviews of the scandal — and Christie’s handing of it — remain under way.