Governor Chris Christie is trying to stay on top of developments related to what is known as “Bridgegate,” and he has hired a team of lawyers to look into exactly how things happened.
A statement from the Republican Governor’s office said the newly appointed team is also responsible for making sure Christie’s office fully cooperates with the US Attorney’s Office investigating the situation.
Leading the team is Randy Mastro, a former US Attorney, according to the statement. Mastro served as chief of staff and deputy mayor to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani has been one of Chris Christie’s staunchest supporters ever since “Bridgegate” became public knowledge, while other Republicans have either been mum or have piled on the New Jersey Governor’s misfortune.
Chris Christie is considered to be the front runner for the Republican party nomination for the 2016 Presidential election, even though he has not personally said he is running.
Always vocal and outspoken, Chris Christie held a press conference almost immediately after the accusations were made public and apologized for the troubles the bridge shut-down caused commuters, saying he was embarrassed and humiliated by the scandal.
This week during his State of the State address, he opened his speech with another apology and vowed to get to the bottom of the incident.
If you’re not exactly sure what “Bridgegate” is, here is a short summary.
Christie and about six staff members are accused of orchestrating a massive traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge — which connects New York and New Jersey — in September, by closing several lanes during heavy rush hour traffic..
It is alleged that the shutdown was in retaliation against Fort Lee’s Democratic Mayor, who did not endorse Christie for re-election.
Before “Bridgegate” broke, Chris Christie was trying to garner bipartisan support in his bid to run for Governor of New Jersey again.
So far, four people in the Governor’s staff have been fired or resigned, and others are suspected of being involved, including Christie, whom many believe had knowledge of the closures.
Earlier this week, New Jersey Democrats announced they will appoint special counsel and former Assistant US Attorney Reid Schar to a State Assembly panel investigating “Bridgegate”. Schar helped prosecute former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Chris Christie has denied any knowledge or involvement in the scandal, but his administration is now being scrutinized on unrelated issues such as the Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts.
Supporters of the Governor are calling the entire affair a partisan witch-hunt, designed to help Hillary Clinton in 2016. Republicans have been quick to note that before the scandal broke, Christie was leading Clinton in the polls.