- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 3, 2018

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Both of Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s lawyers during the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal have now been given key positions under President Donald Trump.

The Department of Justice announced Craig Carpenito’s appointment on Wednesday as New Jersey’s interim U.S. attorney.

Christopher Wray, who represented Christie during a federal investigation into the lane-closing scandal, was named to head the FBI in June.

Carpenito represented Christie when the governor was the object of a criminal misconduct complaint related to the bridge scandal filed in state court by a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2016. The case filed by former firefighter William Brennan ultimately was dismissed.

Christie wasn’t charged in the bridge scandal, in which one of his top appointees and his deputy chief of staff were convicted. A third defendant, a high school classmate of Christie’s who admitted orchestrating the scheme from his position at the bridge authority, pleaded guilty.

Carpenito served as an assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey under Christie from 2005 to 2008. He also has served as senior counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement in New York.

Christie called Craig “an outstanding lawyer” and “the type of decisive leader the office really needs.”

“I am confident he will be a U.S. Attorney that everyone in New Jersey will be proud of in the years ahead,” Christie said in a statement.

Christie was New Jersey’s U.S. attorney from 2002 through 2008 before being elected governor in 2009 and re-elected in 2013.

The lane closures at the bridge, which connects New Jersey and New York, were orchestrated to create traffic jams to punish a Democratic mayor who didn’t endorse Christie’s re-election, according to the former Christie associate who pleaded guilty.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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