No evidence linking lane closures to Christie, report says

New Jersey legislative committee clears governor


No evidence was found by New Jersey lawmakers to show New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was involved in a plot to close lanes near the George Washington Bridge last year.

Investigators found no conclusive evidence of whether or not Christie was aware of the closures. However, the investigation did find that two former aides of Christie acted with little regard for public safety when they closed lanes near the bridge, a 136-page interim report reveals.

A report commissioned by Christie previously cleared him of any wrongdoing and a lawyer for the governor said in a statement Thursday that the report corroborates that investigation.

"The Committee has finally acknowledged what we reported nine months ago — namely, that there is not a shred of evidence Governor Christie knew anything about the GWB lane realignment beforehand or that any current member of his staff was involved in that decision," Christie attorney Randy Mastro said in a statement.

The report will be supplemented if needed because several critical witnesses did not testify and some important questions remain unanswered.

Christie aides Bridget Anne Kelly and David Wildstein acted with “perceived impunity” by closing the lanes, the report says. It also said the Christie administration did not act quick enough to resolve the closures.

Documents released earlier this year showed that Wildstein, then an official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Kelly, then an aide to Christie, orchestrated the shutdown, apparently as retribution toward Fort Lee's Democratic mayor. In one email, Kelly told Wildstein, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."

Wildstein later contended that Christie knew about the lane closures as they happened. Christie, a possible 2016 Republican presidential contender, denies that he had any role in or knowledge of a plot to shut down the lanes.

An investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office is continuing. No one has been charged.

The legislative panel is scheduled to meet on Monday to formally release the report to the public.

The Associated Press contributed to this report