Why We Probably Won’t See Christie’s Enormous Legal Bill Until After VP Selection

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Elena Weissmann Contributor
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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has racked up $10 million in legal fees after the infamous Bridgegate scandal, and he has charged taxpayers for every cent, according to NJ.com.

The overall bill is likely much higher. The press has not seen any legal invoices since August 2015 due to various “delays,” so the new price tag will include almost a year’s legal fees.

The exact amount will remain unknown until after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump chooses his running mate. Christie, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are all in the running, according to Trump’s statement on Tuesday.

The outside law firm hired to conduct an internal investigation into the bridge shutdown, Gibson Dunn, billed the state $52,925 in August 2015, adding on to an existing multi-million dollar charge.

After the August bill, the law firm did not submit any new invoices for several months, despite state guidelines that call for timely billing. Even after the bills were made available, the Attorney General’s Office would not release them to the public.

According to WNYC, the Office had a long list of excuses for the delay. A lawyer in charge of “redacting sensitive information on the invoices” was on vacation at one point, while another official who needed to approve the final release was “out of the office.”

Eleven months after the last invoice, the bill is still not ready. And fortunately for Christie, it looks like it will not be released until next week—after Trump has made his selection, according to Deputy Attorney General Ryan Atkinson.

Gibson Dunn has been criticized in the past for exonerating Christie as part of its internal investigation and then donating over $60,000 to the governor’s abandoned presidential campaign. Two New Jersey legislators also claim that Gibson Dunn attorneys overcharged the state some $2.8 million.

It’s no wonder that Christie may want to delay the release of yet another enormous bill, especially with such high stakes. According to CNN, Trump will likely make the announcement of his pick on Friday.

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