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Democrat: Report clearing Gov. Christie incomplete



By ANGELA DELLI SANTI

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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boadicea5 March 24 2014 at 5:50 PM

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

Flag Reply +7 rate up
rtrauben March 25 2014 at 5:22 AM

whitewash by team christie. money interests have rub amuck.
there should be a difference between a lawyer and a pr firm.
there should be a difference between a reliable newspaper and a pr firm.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
1 reply
thefullmoon1nite rtrauben March 25 2014 at 6:04 AM

When we loos faith in DOJ Justic dept and Depts that contorl ADA complaints then there is nothing left in the USA, the big banks are the big "SCABS"

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Linda March 26 2014 at 2:08 PM

Get out and vote CONSERVATIVE in the mid term elections people or we have another 2 more years of this bum and his cronies in the White House passing god knows what for bills!!!

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batflapper March 24 2014 at 9:06 PM

Why should we, the taxpayers, have to spend one million investigating this stupid act. Do we taxpayers have to keep paying a bunch of greedy lawyers $500.00 per hour to figure something out we just don't care about. Make New York pay for it. If this was the year 1890, those workers would have a Colt 44 shoved in their face and told to move . Like sign in Idaho says" the citizens of Idaho all carry guns. All you criminals might as well go to New York, Illinois, or California where guns are banned.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
jandjalford March 24 2014 at 11:55 PM

AOL why are you removing my comments asking why you won't let me load more comments?

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1 reply
mlondeaux jandjalford March 25 2014 at 1:22 AM

I'm having the same problem, and they won't let me rate comments either.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
dws51564 March 24 2014 at 9:23 PM

Can you say conflict of interest? I can. Let's wait till the the big two start cutting a deal and turn over all their files.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
amdeist1 March 24 2014 at 9:37 PM

When are the unemployed lawyers going to file a class action lawsuit?

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jandjalford March 24 2014 at 11:47 PM

Strange that you can't load more comments on this story......anyone else having that problem?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
krychek67 jandjalford March 24 2014 at 11:59 PM

Nope...No issue. Are you using Chrome (I Am) or something else?

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calderasf March 24 2014 at 6:20 PM

The two not talking is very strange if nothing to hide. That will always blacken his name until they talk. If he didn't have anything to do with it which may be true or not why did he not react to this massive traffic mess with a call or two to see what was the problem and why were the lanes closed.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
old aol welcome calderasf March 24 2014 at 6:28 PM

is that the same as lenner not talking about the IRS

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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