Internal Bridgegate investigation clears Christie

posted at 12:01 pm on March 24, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Does anyone seriously believe an investigation commissioned by Governor Chris Christie into Bridgegate will satisfy his critics? The New York Times waits until only the third paragraph of its report into the exonerating conclusion of the probe to mention the connections between the law firm and the Christie administration, but it still remains the first comprehensive look into the scandal — and finds no connection to Christie himself:

With his office suddenly engulfed in scandal over lane closings at the George Washington Bridge, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey two months ago summoned a pair of top defense lawyers from an elite law firm to the State House and asked them to undertake an extensive review of what had gone wrong.

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.

The review is the first of multiple inquiries into a scandal that has jeopardized Mr. Christie’s political future. 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.

But lawyers from the team who led the inquiry are prepared to vigorously defend their work, which they described as an unfettered look into the inner workings of an administration known to prize loyalty and privacy.

Which administration might that describe, anyway? The Obama administration’s Department of Justice investigated itself in the Fast and Furious scandal, and the probe into the NSA was run by James Clapper. For that matter, the DoJ investigated itself in the DEA’s connection to the NSA scandal, and the State Department investigated itself in the Benghazi debacle. I’m not aware of the New York Times taking that great an interest in potential conflicts of interest in those investigations,  all of which probed events of far greater significance than a traffic jam.

At least Christie hired outsiders to conduct the internal investigation. That won’t mollify his critics, nor should it, really. The state of New Jersey should conduct an impartial investigation into the petty abuse of power and hold accountable those responsible for it. That would allow them to subpoena people to get testimony, which Christie’s panel could not do, although the lead attorney claimed to have “unprecedented access” to Christie’s internal communications:

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 Lee.”

Getting to those figures would probably take a combination of subpoenas and offers of immunity. If not, it’s doubtful that an outside investigation would get much further than this probe did.


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He’s still unelectable.

joekenha on March 24, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Oh, swell. A fatboy thread. I have missed them…

OmahaConservative on March 24, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Which administration might that describe, anyway? The Obama administration’s Department of Justice investigated itself in the Fast and Furious scandal, and the probe into the NSA was run by James Clapper. For that matter, the DoJ investigated itself in the DEA’s connection to the NSA scandal, and the State Department investigated itself in the Benghazi debacle.

Breaking news: Ruling class investigates itself and declares that the serfs should shut up.

rbj on March 24, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Let’s all be consistent here. The similar “final comprehensive govt reports” on F&F, IRS, Benghazi,… deserved skepticism; just as this one should.

kpguru on March 24, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I’m not aware of the New York Times taking that great an interest in potential conflicts of interest in those investigations, all of which probed events of far greater significance than a traffic jam.

Excellent parallels. It’s good that someone keeps the heat on the media.

MSNBC will go the way of CNN-plane.

AlGore wishes he’d invented withdrawal credits too.

Schadenfreude on March 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM

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.

No evidence of involvement in the plotting or directing isn’t the same thing as not knowing what was going on. When you’ve got loyal minions, you don’t have to have your fingerprints on everything. So from that standpoint the findings are inconclusive.

But this is a sideshow and not the reason why the fat man is utterly unfit for higher office.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Who cares – but let’s see how many idiots respond with Fat comments?

jake-the-goose on March 24, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Oh, swell. A fatboy thread. I have missed them…

OmahaConservative on March 24, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Be fair, Allahpundit waited until his second thread to put the focus back on the fat man.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Does anyone seriously believe an investigation commissioned by Governor Chris Christie into Bridgegate will satisfy his critics?

Barbara Bosserman believes it. Completely.

mrt721 on March 24, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Who cares – but let’s see how many idiots respond with Fat comments?

jake-the-goose on March 24, 2014 at 12:12 PM

But this is a sideshow and not the reason why the fat man is utterly unfit for higher office.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 12:12 PM

I think it’s pretty clear that the emphasis is on the fat man’s character, liberal views, arrogance, bullying, and hatred of social conservatives that make him unfit for higher office. But that doesn’t mean the bastard isn’t fat.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Be fair, Allahpundit waited until his second thread to put the focus back on the fat man.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

posted at 12:01 pm on March 24, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

whatcat on March 24, 2014 at 12:17 PM

And here I thought that our most hated fat rino was gone from main pieces. All good things….

nobar on March 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Be fair, Allahpundit waited until his second thread to put the focus back on the fat man.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 12:13 PM

This is an Ed thread…

OmahaConservative on March 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Why is Hot Air and other people excited about this?

As a conservative I wanted him to be ruined by this to clear him out of the 2016 field.

tcufrog on March 24, 2014 at 12:22 PM

posted at 12:01 pm on March 24, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

whatcat on March 24, 2014 at 12:17 PM

This is an Ed thread…

OmahaConservative on March 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Well I’m embarrassed. Christie has always been favorite fodder for AP. I just assumed. ;0

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Why is Hot Air and other people excited about this?

As a conservative I wanted him to be ruined by this to clear him out of the 2016 field.

tcufrog on March 24, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Patience. Let the media keep him or Jeb Bush as the presumptive GOP nominee for another year or so. Makes the opposition research on the ultimate nominee all that more difficult. And if the mainstream GOP thinks they are going to be able to sell the fat man as the nominee they are more out of touch with conservatives than ever.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 12:26 PM

I don’t read the rag but I wonder if the NYT gazed the same jaundice eye to the Obama donor heading the investigation into the IRS scandal. Naaaa….

stop2think on March 24, 2014 at 12:28 PM

I don’t read the rag but I wonder if the NYT gazed the same jaundice eye to the Obama donor heading the investigation into the IRS scandal. Naaaa….

stop2think on March 24, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Or Eric Holder heading up the investigation into Fast and Furious.

Happy Nomad on March 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor’s former deputy chief of staff who apparently kicked off the lane closures …

.
I just noticed this: Bridge is a diminutive, affectionate form of Bridget… co-ink-ee-dink? I think not.

ExpressoBold on March 24, 2014 at 12:33 PM

The state of New Jersey should conduct an impartial investigation into the petty abuse of power and hold accountable those responsible for it.

How would New jersey do an impartial investigation? Everyone in government is either an ally or an enemy, and they’re all dodgy. Maybe they could bring in a special investigator from Iceland or something.

forest on March 24, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Another NY Slimes duality

The leftist thugs deride military service when righties run for the senate.

Here is the reverse, hypocritical azzes at the NYT

Senator John Walsh, Democrat of Montana, second from left, at a Senate National Guard Caucus breakfast in Washington. He was appointed last month to the seat vacated by Max Baucus and is running for election in November, hoping that his career in uniform remains an asset.

Rightie in uniform = who do they think they are to run for office?

Leftist in uniform = good

NYSlimes, you are the bird droppings collectors.

Schadenfreude on March 24, 2014 at 12:35 PM

HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

O.K., I GOT DIBS ON THE JELLY FILLED!!

ToddPA on March 24, 2014 at 12:38 PM

It’s an internal investigation geniuses. It means nothing.

crankyoldlady on March 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Some of you are harsh on his girth.

Schadenfreude on March 24, 2014 at 12:41 PM

This will never end in the minds of liberals. At least there was an investigation. But will we ever learn who was behind the IRS business? I think they are hiding something otherwise why not do what Christie did?

COgirl on March 24, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Cleared who?

M240H on March 24, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Who is this fat man that you speak of? And why should I care? I vaguely remember something about some east coast governor, somewhat not completely a Leftist tool, being somehow newsworthy, but … that was quite a while ago.

M240H on March 24, 2014 at 12:49 PM

NYT and their acolytes always pretend to be shocked if anyone accuses them of bias.

You would think they would at least make a more creditable attempt to pretend to be reporting rather than advocating in their news section.

As it is now, the whole paper is the editorial section. When the advertisements are the most truthful and unbiased parts of a newspaper, you have to stop giving them any real credence.

s1im on March 24, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Did you hear the GOOD news?

Christie has “slimmed down” from 420 lbs. to 320 lbs.

http://patdollard.com/2014/03/chris-christie-loses-100-pounds-down-to-325/

The BAD news … Christie is still a raging liberal, and a big, fat, worthless obama-tool.

Pork-Chop on March 24, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Internal Bridgegate investigation clears Christie

Stopped reading there.

fitzfong on March 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

So little hate…disappointing

Schadenfreude on March 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM

…doughnuts!…for everybody!

KOOLAID2 on March 24, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Internal Bridgegate investigation clears Christie

Stopped reading there.

fitzfong on March 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Yep, like the moron Eric Holder’s announcement that the investigation of Fast and Furious is over.

slickwillie2001 on March 24, 2014 at 3:24 PM

There it is, completely cleared. Congratulations to Gov. Christie.

cimbri on March 24, 2014 at 4:11 PM

There it is, completely cleared. Congratulations to Gov. Christie.

cimbri on March 24, 2014 at 4:11 PM

In other news, an internal investigation conducted by the Menendez Brothers completely cleared the Menendez Brothers of any wrongdoing in the deaths of their parents. Therefore, it must be so. Congratulations Menendez Brothers!

fitzfong on March 24, 2014 at 4:27 PM