Christie Unaware Of 'Bridgegate' Scheme, Report Says

The report, which looked at email and cell phone records, concluded Christie "did not know of the lane realignment beforehand and had no involvement."

Christie Unaware Of 'Bridgegate' Scheme, Report Says
Wikimedia Commons / Bob Jagendorf

"A vindication of Gov. Christie" — those words from a report investigating the New Jersey governor's role in the state's "Bridgegate" scandal.  

"An internal review may have just cleared the way for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to run for president." (Via WTVT

"A law firm Gov. Chris Christie hired says the governor was not involved in a plot to create gridlock on the George Washington Bridge as part of a political retribution scheme." (Via KCRG)

The report, which was released Thursday, looked at Christie's email and cell phone records, finding he "did not know of the lane realignment beforehand and had no involvement in the decision to realign lanes. ... Gov. Christie's account of these events rings true." (Via Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP)

The report also claims the bridge closure was not motivated by the mayor of Fort Lee's refusal to endorse Gov. Christie during his re-election campaign. According to the report, the motivation for the closure is "not yet clear." (Via WTEN)

However, the report did find several of Christie's appointees — including aide Bridget Kelly, campaign manager Bill Stepien, and Port Authority official David Wildstein — did know about the plan.

As USA Today reports, Stepien was unaware the plan was meant as political retribution and believed it was actually a traffic study.

Kelly was the aide behind the email that read, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." (Via News 12 New Jersey)

Despite the apparent exoneration of Christie though, some are crying foul. The reports detractors point to the fact the investigation did not interview Kelly, Stepien, or Wildstein,

The Star-Ledger quotes New Jersey Democratic Assemblyman John Wisniewski saying: "If we don't hear from the person who put the lane closures into motion, Bridget Kelly ... if we don't know why she sent that email, if we don't know who gave her the authority to send that email, if we don't know what she thought she may be accomplishing by sending that email, then we can't have a complete picture of what happened here."

The report also found claims by the mayor of Hoboken — that the Christie administration attempted to force her to approve a private development project in exchange for Superstorm Sandy aid — were "demonstrably false." (Via WAVY)

Five people, including Kelly and Stepien, have been fired as the scandal has unfolded. Wildstein resigned his post in December.