Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s re-election campaign has sought representation from Patton Boggs LLP as investigations intensify into allegations that his aides caused the closure of lanes leading from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge for political retaliation.
High-profile Attorneys Bob Luskin and Mark Sheridan will represent the campaign, which received subpoenas from a special committee formed by the New Jersey General Assembly to review the incident, according to a local press report.
Luskin represented Karl Rove in Patrick Fitzgerald’s investigation into the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s‘ identity to the press as well as cyclist Lance Armstrong in his defense against accusations of doping.
Sheridan, meanwhile, serves as general counsel for the New Jersey Republican State Committee and was a member of Christie’s transition team.
The governor’s office has brought onboard a legal team from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP that will be lead by former assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Mastro of the Southern District of New York.
Mastro, co-chairmain of Gibson Dunn’s Litigation Practice Group, previously served as chief of staff deputy mayor to Rudy Giuliani, who has defended Christie since the scandal broke.
The so-called “bridgegate” controversy heated up earlier this month when reports surfaced detailing an exchange of emails between Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s deputy chief of staff, and David Wildstein, who was appointed by the governor to the Port Authority, that show Kelly asked Wildstein to close the lanes as a political power play against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who didn’t endorse Christie’s 2013 reelection campaign.
At a press conference following the revelations, the governor told reporters he had “no knowledge or involvement in this issue, in its planning or execution” and had fired Kelly once he saw the news reports.
“This administration is committed to ensuring that what happened here never happens again,” according to a statement from the governor’s office released today. The team “will review best practices for office operations and information flow, and assist with document retention and production.”
The firm will also work with the U.S. Attorney’s office to handle “other appropriate inquiries and requests for information,” according to the statement.
New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman has also said that his office is examining the episode to determine whether any federal laws had been broken.
Meanwhile, former assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar, now a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, was tapped to become special counsel to the state legislative committee looking into the episode.
Schar led the prosecution team that brought down former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of corruption and sentenced to 14 years in prison. He also helped secure a conviction against Blagojevich fundraiser Tony Rezko.