NJ Assemblyman Calls Christie’s Secret Bridgegate Lawyer a ‘Serious Breach’

Adrian Ma, Matt Katz | July 26, 2017 | Politics
Wisniewski questions why Christie, who was preparing to run for president at the time, hid Wray's public job as the governor's criminal attorney

Christopher Wray
A New Jersey Democrat is drafting a bill in response to a WNYC report about the unusual arrangement between Gov. Chris Christie and his Bridgegate attorney, Christopher Wray, who President Donald Trump has nominated to lead the FBI.

Documents obtained by WNYC show that Wray secretly started representing Christie, at a $2 million cost to taxpayers, in September 2014. But it wasn’t until 11 months later, in August 2015, that Wray and Christie signed a legally required retainer agreement.

Legal experts said that lag time is unusual and unethical.

New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski questions why Christie, who was preparing to run for president at the time, hid Wray’s public job as the governor’s criminal attorney.

“This serious breach cannot and should not be repeated,” Wisniewski said in a statement Tuesday. “This is highly unusual and raises questions about whether Gov. Christie was trying to hide this cost and legal representation from the public.”

Wisniewski said the governor should refund taxpayers and pledged to introduce legislation aimed at enforcing requirements for attorney-client agreements. He called on federal lawmakers to investigate Wray’s dealings with Christie before voting on his FBI nomination.

Democratic State Senator Loretta Weinberg said the Senate should question Wray under oath. 

“Why was his employment kept from the public for so long?,” Weinberg said. “The taxpayers of New Jersey deserve to know what he was doing and the citizens of the United States deserve more information about the person the president has chosen to lead the FBI.”

Wray’s nomination has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, but is still awaiting approval from the full Senate. After President Trump fired James Comey from the position of FBI Director in May, Gov. Christie recommended Wray as a replacement.

We’re in this together
For a better-informed future. Support our nonprofit newsroom.
Donate to NJ Spotlight