EXCLUSIVE: Chris Christie Was Interrogated By Feds Over Bridge Scandal

Christie met with FBI agents last month during a secret session at his home.

ByABC News
January 9, 2015, 2:04 PM

— -- Gov. Chris Christie, a potential presidential contender, was interrogated recently by federal investigators probing the 2013 lane-closure scandal that has threatened his political future, officials confirmed to ABC News.

Christie met with federal prosecutors and FBI agents last month during a secret session at the New Jersey governor’s mansion in Princeton. He agreed to sit down with investigators voluntarily after they offered him a chance to provide his side of the story. Interviewing Christie was one of the final steps in the investigation, which appears to be wrapping up, according to those briefed on it.

Anyone being questioned by federal agents is required to tell to the truth or potentially face criminal charges. The governor was accompanied by his personal attorney, Christopher Wray, a former chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Christie Cleared--Sort of--in Bridge Scandal

Governor Christie made clear from day one that he and his administration would fully cooperate with all appropriate inquiries,” Christie spokeswoman Maria Comella told ABC News. “That’s exactly what he has done and will continue to do, and he is very much looking forward to this matter’s conclusion.”

US Attorney Paul Fishman, who’s leading the investigation, declined to comment on the meeting.

The New Jersey US Attorney’s Office and the FBI have spent a year investigating the September 2013 closing of access lanes at the George Washington Bridge, which caused unprecedented traffic jams for the better part of a week and crippled Fort Lee, where the GWB is anchored in New Jersey. It has been alleged that the lanes were closed as political payback for the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee after he declined to endorse Christie’s gubernatorial re-election in 2013, though Christie has repeatedly denied it.

The GWB lane scandal was simmering for much of late 2013, but only burst into national headlines a year ago Thursday when it was revealed that a deputy chief of staff to Christie, Bridget Kelly, had sent an email that appeared to green-light the closing of two out of three local-access lanes to the span – the most heavily traveled in the country. The bridge is operated by the Port Authority, which is controlled jointly by the governors of New Jersey and New York.

Kelly’s words – contained in emails submitted to a state legislature investigative committee – thrust Christie and his inner circle into a crisis first marked by a marathon Statehouse news conference and then two months of dodging questions on the incident. During the meeting with reporters a year ago today, Christie said, “I have nothing to hide. So any questions anybody wants to ask me, they can ask, you know. From law enforcement, you know, anything they want to ask, they can ask. So we have nothing to hide, and this administration has nothing to hide.”