After someone leaked to the New York Times the news that a soon-to-be-released inquiry into Bridgegate — paid for by taxpayers and managed by a law firm of Christie’s choosing — found the governor guilty of no wrongdoing, it was obvious to everyone that the 2016 presidential aspirant had put the issue behind him and answered all outstanding questions. Just kidding! In the brief time that’s elapsed since news broke of the Christie-clearing report, the general reaction has been to point out the conflict of interest — or to go even further and dismiss the whole upcoming report entirely.
Here’s the latest news about Christie:
- An editorial from the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest and most influential newspaper, describes the Christie internal inquiry as “baloney” and argues that Christie “owes taxpayers a refund.” The piece points out that the inquiry did not speak with Bridget Anne Kelly, the former Christie aide caught giving the order to cause traffic in Fort Lee, and describes the internal probe as something Christie would’ve dismissively laughed at when he was U.S. attorney.
- Returning to the issue of the report’s conflict of interest: Matt Katz, WNYC’s “Christie tracker,” points out that not only does Christie have ties with the firm he hired to investigate him, but he also has very close ties with Debra Wong Yang, an associate of the internal inquiry team’s lead investigator who is a family friend of the Christies and once received a contract from Christie when he was U.S. attorney. Other than that, though, they barely know each other.
- Future awkwardness alert: An April conference in Jersey City will be attended not only by Gov. Christie but also by U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, whose office just so happens to be in the midst of investigating the governor. That should make for some interesting small talk.