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Democrat: Report clearing Gov. Christie incomplete


TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie's lawyers cannot credibly review a political payback plot involving his aides because they are missing information from key players, the head of a New Jersey legislative panel said Monday.

The lack of cooperation from ex-aides Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien, Christie's two-time campaign manager, raises questions about the thoroughness of the report due out soon, Assemblyman John Wisinewski said.

The New York Times reported Monday that the review will show that the Republican governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate was not involved in the planning or execution of the blocking of traffic in Fort Lee, apparently to punish the town's mayor for not endorsing Christie. Five people close to Christie have lost their jobs in the scandal that threatens his future political plans.

Randy Mastro, the lawyer hired by Christie to lead the review, told the newspaper the governor handed over his iPhone and permitted his email accounts to be searched.

He also said he had access to thousands of emails on government servers by current and former employees such as Kelly and Stepien, who are fighting the legislative panel's subpoena seeking documents involving the lane closings.

It was unclear when the actual findings will be released. Mastro didn't return multiple messages left by The Associated Press. Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts released a statement Monday saying the review was ongoing and has not been delivered to Christie's office.

It's doubtful the results will impact separate investigations by the U.S. attorney's office and the joint legislative panel.

Ian Sams, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said the report would amount to taxpayer-funded damage control. He said taxpayers are unlikely to gain much insight despite having spent more than $1 million on the inquiry.

"For a self-appointed ally to say that the governor is cleared of wrongdoing doesn't pass the smell test," he said.

Democrats say Mastro's past employment also could bias the review. Like Christie, Mastro is a former federal prosecutor. He also was former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's chief of staff. Several of Christie's aides once worked for Giuliani, and the ex-mayor has vigorously defended Christie on the national talk show circuit.

Mastro defended the integrity of the inquiry to the Times, and said there is no incentive to sugarcoat the findings.

"At the end of the day, we will be judged by whether we got this right," he said, noting that any shortcomings would likely be exposed by the other investigations.

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buckeye3118 March 24 2014 at 6:17 PM

An investigation of this type into the dealings of PopStar MESSiah would make Christie look like Honest Abe Lincoln.

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tecusernet March 24 2014 at 5:56 PM

Yet the four Americans who died in Benghazi has no interest by Democrats ...

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navycva11 March 24 2014 at 7:24 PM

Christie was, and always will be innocent of ANY wrongdoing in this NONissue. Hillary's plan to eliminate her compition will backfire.....big time. The ONLY people screaming about this are PEOPLE WHO WERE NEVER GOING TO VOTE FOR HIM ANYWAY. HP and AOL are NOT indicators of squat. When the debates come, Christie will wipe the floor with clinton. Watch and see.

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Claire March 24 2014 at 7:24 PM

The l million dollars could have been spent to help the homeless etc.

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Caroline March 24 2014 at 7:26 PM

You can see this handwriting. Any potential presidential candidate is targeted with some sort of accusation with the intent on harming that public image...true or not...imo.

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mbalin562 March 24 2014 at 7:27 PM

And now, the question is-what is it that the two subordinates don't want to disclose.? It seems as if the Gov. has been cooperative, and he did allow his emails and phone to be reviewed.

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Chuck March 24 2014 at 7:28 PM

Gee you have people who have benefitted from you and then they find out you had nothing ot do with it? I'm SHOCKED SHOCKED I say!

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defiant128 March 24 2014 at 5:53 PM

Does this traffic jam really merit the avalanche of media attention it is getting? Brave Americans died fighting valiantly in Benghazi, while requesting help that was never sent. We didn't even try! A couple of planes from Aviano, no, just one, with one bomb, would have made those mothers run. It wouldn't even had to have been a big one. We didn't have any submarines or ships in the Mediterranean from which to launch one Tomahawk? Gutless Bastards! It is amazing that this country still has people stepping up to the plate. One day when they are called again to get our ass out of trouble, they will sit down and say, "No!" And I wouldn't blame them. But, I know this will never happen, because they live by a higher standard.

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4 replies
BARBARA March 24 2014 at 7:30 PM

When major players refuse to cooperate, Christie cannot be cleared. So far those who could clear Christie have invoked their Constitutional rights under the Fifth Ammendmant. Perhaps there is some culpability.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
joejoegolfn BARBARA March 24 2014 at 7:48 PM

Sounds like Lois Learner pleading the fifth on the IRS scandal. I guess that's OK since it was a democrat. They are all crooks. TIme to clean house

Flag Reply 0 rate up
BoB BARBARA March 24 2014 at 7:49 PM

hmmm just like the IRS bull

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boadicea5 March 24 2014 at 5:50 PM

The Governor cleared himself. How like him.....

Flag Reply +7 rate up
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