This is what is missing from the federal investigation into Bridgegate:
The cell phone in Gov. Chris Christie’s pocket during the 2013 George Washington lane closures.
Text messages the governor sent and received during the ensuing legislative investigation.
And now, according to new court filings, a personal email account he used as the scandal enveloped his administration.
None of this evidence was provided to federal criminal investigators probing the Bridgegate scandal, according to court documents.
For two and half years, Christie has insisted that both his personal and government email accounts were searched by investigators, and there was nothing to indicate he knew anything about the lane closures scheme. He also claimed he never did government work on his personal email account.
But new court documents indicate that a personal email account he shared with his wife, Mary Pat, was never searched — and he used that account to send at least one Bridgegate-related government email to David Samson, the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge. That email forwarded an article with the comment “per our earlier conversation” that discussed a phone conversation Christie had with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo concerning the lane closure investigation.
Christie’s own taxpayer-funded attorneys from the Gibson Dunn law firm, which has so far billed more than $10 million to the state, were in charge of responding to federal and legislative subpoenas seeking such emails. The lawyers simply ignored this account, even though Christie regularly used personal email accounts, including the one shared with his wife, for government business, sources say. He even used this account to email journalists concerning state business.
Two former Christie appointees indicted in the scheme are alleging that Gibson Dunn destroyed and withheld evidence. In defending itself, Gibson Dunn for the first time this week acknowledged that it never searched an email account where the sender was “Chris and Mary Pat Christie,” until one of the defendants discovered the email to Samson earlier this month.
According to the legal papers that email was sent from a joint marital account of the governor and his wife, “which we understood was not used by the Governor for official business and contained nothing responsive.” Christie’s lawyers say they’ve now searched that account and found no emails “related to and contemporaneous with the lane realignment.”