Christie Wasn’t Charged in Bridgegate Trial, But His Lawyers Charged Us $11.28M
Gov. Chris Christie may not have been charged by prosecutors in the Bridgegate scandal, which on Friday resulted in the convictions of two former allies, but taxpayers nevertheless have spent $11.28 million on his attorneys.
The latest calculation of the legal bills was published this week by WNYC, which found that attorneys from the firm Gibson Dunn billed for almost every day as the trial began in September.
Christie was on a potential-witness list but was not called to testify and Christie had said he did not expect to be called to testify.
Christie is represented by the firm Gibson Dunn, which conducted its own investigation and issued a report in 2014 that cleared Christie and his top advisors. The report was criticized by some as being a whitewash. Attorneys from the law firm also contributed tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions to Christie.
The WNYC report also notes that taxpayers are on the hook for legal expenses incurred by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the municipality of Fort Lee, the legislative investigation and by other state employees — amounting to more than $14.6 million and counting.
Christie has denied any knowledge of the plot, even though Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni, who were convicted Friday, and David Wildsetein, who pleaded guilty to his role as the mastermind of the plot, testified Christie was informed about the lane closings either before or while they were going on.
Christie on Friday reiterated he "had no knowledge prior to or during these lane realignments, and had no role in authorizing them."
"No believable evidence was presented to contradict that fact. Anything said to the contrary over the past six weeks in court is simply untrue.”
Christie, however, is facing a citizen's complaint in Superior Court in Hackensack charging him with official misconduct in his alleged role in the plot. A judge last month ruled that there was enough probable cause to allow the complaint to proceed.