POLITICS
04/21/2014 02:05 pm ET Updated Apr 21, 2014

Bridgegate Has Cost Chris Christie's Campaign At Least $314,000 In Legal Fees So Far

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's (R) reelection campaign has paid at least $314,000 in legal fees for the Bridgegate investigation so far, with the campaign now in debt.

Christie's campaign hired the firm Patton Boggs LLP in January in response to the investigation by the U.S. attorney's office as well as the New Jersey Legislature.

According to financial documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Patton Boggs received $160,000 for legal fees and documentation in March. Stroz Friedberg, an investigations and intelligence firm, was also paid $154,000 that month.

The Wall Street Journal added that Christie's campaign "received only $3,800 in donations during the first three months of this year, with a total of $156,587 in cash on hand, according to the report. The document lists $264,000 in legal fees as debts, meaning that the campaign could have to raise more funds to pay them."

The Christie administration closed down two of the three George Washington Bridge access lanes in Fort Lee, N.J., in September, in what appeared to be a political retribution scheme aimed at the borough's Democratic mayor. The closures, which lasted four days, caused massive traffic jams. They were orchestrated by a Christie ally at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Wildstein, along with one of Christie's deputy chiefs of staff, Bridget Kelly, and his then-campaign manager and top political adviser, Bill Stepien.

Christie has maintained that he had no involvement in, or knowledge of, the plan.

NJ.com reported last week that the legislative committee investigating Bridgegate cost taxpayers $525,000 in the first two months of the year.

Christie also hired the law firm Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher LLP to represent his administration. The firm recently put out a report exonerating the governor from blame in the lane closures, but it has not yet billed for its work.

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