The Washington Times - January 16, 2014, 09:56AM

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday he has retained a law firm to assist an “internal review” of lane closures near the George Washington Bridge, a scandal that’s clouded his second term in Trenton and could dampen his presidential aspirations in 2016.

“Governor Christie made clear last week that he will conduct an internal review to uncover the facts surrounding the lane closures in Fort Lee, [N.J.],” the Republican governor’s office said. “His administration is fully cooperating with the U.S. Attorney inquiry and other appropriate inquiries and requests for information.

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The governor has retained Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher — a law firm with offices around the globe — to help the administration preserve and procure documents and develop best practices for the office.

Randy Mastro, a former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will head up the law firm’s team.

“Their presence will bring an outside, third-party perspective to the situation, and they will be a valuable asset as we move forward,” Mr. Christie’s office said. “This administration is committed to ensuring that what happened here never happens again. That’s what the people of New Jersey deserve.”

Mr. Christie has said he will fully cooperate with all “appropriate” inquiries by state lawmakers into “Bridgegate,” after texts and emails revealed that members of his staff ordered the closure of toll lanes and caused gridlock in Fort Lee, perhaps because its Democratic mayor didn’t endorse the governor for re-election.

Mr. Christie, who could be the GOP’s pick for president in 2016, has said he knew nothing about the scheme and that top aides lied to him.