New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during a town hall meeting in Sterling, New Jersey in this file photo from February 26, 2014.
Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Christie lawyers clear Christie in bridge scandal

Updated
New Jersey Gov. Chris Chrisite’s (R) ongoing scandals are still under investigation, even if they’re not front-page news every day, and there are still far more questions than answers about the Republican governor’s actions and those of his team.
 
Today, however, the story returns to the front page, at least in the New York Times, which reports on Chrstie’s lawyers deciding to clear their client of any wrongdoing.
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.
So, let’s see. The governor hired attorneys to investigate one of the governor’s scandals. To complete this task, Christie reached out to a law firm with “close ties” to his own administration.
 
The lawyers overseeing the “comprehensive and exhaustive” probe did not speak to Bridget Anne Kelly. Or Bill Stepien. Or David Wildstein. Or even Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.
 
And yet, this same legal team is leaking word to the NYT that the governor – i.e., their client who hired them – is fully in the clear.
 
Note, the full results of this investigation have not yet been made available, though Christie has vowed to release it publicly, without edits, as quickly as possible.
 
And while its findings will no doubt be an interesting piece of the larger puzzle, it’s likely most observers will balk at considering this the definitive review of what transpired.
 
Separate investigations from the state legislature and the U.S. Attorney’s office remain ongoing.
 
UPDATE: Related video:
The Rachel Maddow Show, 3/24/14, 10:52 PM ET

Christie-friendly firm clears Christie: Leak

Steve Kornacki, host of MSNBC’s “Up with Steve Kornacki,” talks with Rachel Maddow about the leaked news of a firm hired by (and friendly to) Chris Christie with taxpayer money to investigate Chris Christie finding Chris Christie of free of wrongdoing.

Chris Christie and New Jersey

Christie lawyers clear Christie in bridge scandal

Updated