Big bucks for Bridgegate: Taxpayers spent $10.5M on Christie’s legal bills
TRENTON — It has cost New Jersey taxpayers $8.2 million for Republican Gov. Chris Christie's private attorneys handling the fallout from the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case.
Invoices released by the attorney general show Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher billed the state $202,000 from September to March. The firm previously billed $8 million since being hired in January 2014.
That comes on top of $2.3 million the Christie administration has paid a risk management firm. That brings billings from the legal team to $10.5 million.
Separately, the legislature has paid $1.2 million to a law firm for an investigation of the bridge case and another $1.2 million has been spent for legal expenses for state employees who were questioned or received subpoenas.
Former Christie allies are charged in the case; he is not.
As a report by NJ Advance Media noted Friday, the governor has personal ties to many of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher'rs top lawyers.
A response to a records request seeking the bills was delayed — with timing that was likely to put their release sometime after Donald Trump picked a running mate, WNYC noted earlier this week.
Trump confirmed on Twitter Friday what several reports stated Thursday — that he'd picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence over finalists that included Christie, the first former opponent for the GOP nomination to endorse Trump.
Thursday, Christie saw two significant allies connections to alleged corruption continue — in investigations tied to the Bridgegate scandal, though not specifically about the George Washington Bridge Lane CLosures themselves.
Former Port Authority Chairman David Samson pleaded guilty to a bribery charge after having United Airlines arrange money-losing fights from Newark Liberty Airport to an airport near his South Carolina vacation home.
Also now charged in the case is former United Airlines lobbyist Jamie Fox — who among his several public positions had been a Chris Christie appointee, as the state’s commissioner of transportation. He is facing a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery for allegedly helping to orchestrate the scheme.
Last year, on New Jersey 101.5's "Ask the Governor," Christie told host Eric Scott he considered Samson a friend, and urged caution in making assumptions about the United Case until more facts came out.: