New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has hired outside attorneys to help investigate how aides were able to snarl traffic in a north Jersey town as an act of political revenge, and to assist federal authorities probing the scandal that has threatened his White House ambitions.
Christie’s office announced the retention of New York-based law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP on Thursday morning, saying the administration had hired the firm “to assist with the internal review announced by Governor Christie last week and to further cooperate with the U.S. Attorney inquiry.”
The Republican has been under fire ever since documents surfaced last week revealing that aides worked to close lanes leading from Fort Lee, N.J., to the George Washington Bridge after the town’s mayor didn’t back Christie’s reelection bid, backing up traffic there for days. Christie has apologized and fired a top aide involved. His office said the firm would “review best practices for office operations and information flow, and assist with document retention and production.”
The hire comes as New Jersey lawmakers investigating the issue have retained Reid Schar, a former federal prosecutor who worked on the corruption case against ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, to work on their probe.
An NBC/Marist Poll out Wednesday, one of the first indicators of how voters are responding to the scandal, showed that most Americans’ views of Christie are unchanged, but that one-quarter of those familiar with it think less of him.