The lawyers hired by Gov. Chris Christie (R) to conduct an internal review of the George Washington Bridge lane closures on Thursday released a report with their findings.
The 360-page document is the result of interviews with more than 70 witnesses, and the review of over 250,000 documents, including Christie’s personal text messages and emails. The report concluded that former Christie deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly and former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey executive David Wildstein “knowingly participated” in a plan to to close the lanes, “at least in part, for some ulterior motive to target [Fort Lee, N.J. Mayor Mark Sokolich.]” The investigation also found that former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien and former Port Authority Executive Bill Baroni “knew of this idea in advance, but we found no evidence that they knew of the ulterior motive here, besides the claimed purpose of conducting a traffic study.” The investigation did not find “any evidence” of anyone else’s involvement in the plan to target Sokolich.
As for Christie himself, the investigation found that he “did not know of the lane realignment beforehand and had no involvement in the decision to realign the lanes.”
“He does not recall becoming aware of the lane realignment during the period the lanes were closed, but would not have considered a traffic issue memorable in any event,” the report states.
The investigation was led by Randy Mastro, a prominent defense attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. The legal team conducting the investigation was unable to interview a number of key figures in the scandal, including Kelly, Stepien, Wildstein, and Sokolich.
The lane closures in September caused a massive, multi-day traffic jam in Fort Lee, and documents released earlier this year showed that close Christie aides, particularly Kelly and Stepien, were involved in conversations about the closures before and after they took place.
Read the report: