2014-03-27T222201Z_3_CBREA2Q0XH700_RTROPTP_2_USA-POLITICS-CHRISTIE

NJ governor's internal investigation clears him in 'Bridgegate'

New Jersey Governor Christie arrives to speak to local residents of Belmar, New Jersey and other shore towns in Monmouth County during a Town Hall meeting to discuss federal funds for recovery from hurricane Sandy, in BelmarBy Barbara Goldberg and Victoria Cavaliere NEW YORK (Reuters) – A law firm hired by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to investigate the “Bridgegate” scandal exonerated the potential Republican presidential contender on Thursday in a report quickly dismissed by critics as whitewash. The review cleared every member of Christie’s current staff, but blamed former members of his inner circle whom he fired soon after a scandal erupted over the September 2013 shutdown of traffic lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, New Jersey. “What we found was that Governor Christie had no involvement in the decision to close these lanes and no prior knowledge of it,” said attorney Randy Mastro of the law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, which conducted the investigation. Two key players who orchestrated the massive traffic jam were Bridget Anne Kelly, the governor’s former deputy chief of staff, and David Wildstein, a Christie appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge, according to the report.

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