Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chris Christie Investigates His Involvement in Bridgegate and Clears Himself of Wrongdoing

SAN NARCISO, Calif. (Bennington Vale Evening Transcript) -- In January, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie became mired in scandal when revelations emerged that top aides in his administration orchestrated the politically motivated sabotage of the George Washington Bridge last September. Christie issued a brief public apology after the news broke, followed by two hours of self-indulgent, self-pitying and, at times, passive-aggressive assurances that he was “a very sad person.” Emails published by the Bergen Record presented indisputable evidence that Christie’s top staffers and allies plotted to create four days of lane closures on the bustling connector between New Jersey and New York. Christie fired those responsible and denied any involvement in the incident. But nearly four months later, the dark cloud that rained ruin over his career continues to show no signs of dissipating. On Thursday, the embattled governor and former GOP presidential contender announced that he had commissioned an internal investigation into his possible abetting of “Bridgegate,” which ultimately cleared him of any wrongdoing.

”At great personal expense, I hired the law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher -- attorneys I know well and trust -- to help me investigate any involvement I may have had in the Bridgegate scandal,” Christie told reporters. “Two months and 344 pages later, we have concluded that I had nothing to do with the closure of the George Washington Bridge.”

Critics have denounced the veracity of the findings, but Christie and his lawyers assured them that this report holds the “Christie BMI equivalent” of legal weight.

“In fact, I think you could say that after 70 interviews and an in-depth analysis of 250,000 documents, our report is overweight -- morbidly obese with evidence,” the lead attorney said.

Christie’s internal investigation validated earlier emails that implicated his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, as a co-conspirator with two Port Authority officials, Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, who reduced traffic on the George Washington Bridge to one lane between September 9 and September 13, presumably as retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who refused to throw his weight behind Christie for the 2013 gubernatorial campaign. At the time, Sokolich stated that Christie had gobbled up enough votes to secure his re-election by landslide margins: “I didn’t think it would be necessary or even healthy to add more fat to the governor’s already bloated political body.”

To demonstrate his level of commitment to the pursuit of the truth and his desire to bring the guilty parties to justice, Christie worked tirelessly with his hired investigators to conduct the examination into his own culpability.

“Gov. Christie was our biggest asset during the investigation of Gov. Christie,” a spokesperson for Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher said. “His constituents should be proud.”

According to the lawyers, Christie toiled late nights for over two months, looking into any areas where he may potentially have been assisting the wrongdoers. He pored over thousands of his own emails, reviewed countless hours of recorded phone calls he made to the suspects and deposed himself “unmercifully” in front of his mirror. At the conclusion of these efforts, Christie provided the law firm with a detailed written statement he authored that determined, beyond reasonable doubt, his innocence in the scandal.

“Witnesses lie, documents don’t. We have hard evidence,” the firm’s lead attorney said. “If Gov. Christie had found evidence to the contrary, he would have reported that.”

Christie assured his supporters that the case was now closed. He affirmed his resolve to put the issue behind him and redouble his efforts to win the Republican nomination for the 2016 White House race.

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