When it was announced earlier this month that Governor Chris Christie had hired Randy Mastro, the New York litigation head of California-based Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, to represent the Christie administration in dealing with all of the investigations involving Bridgegate, some observers told reporters that signing on Mastro signaled that Christie and his team might be gearing up to take an aggressive posture that is inconsistent with the governor’s initial promise to cooperate fully in all investigations.
That’s a logical assumption: Mastro, a former protégé of tough-guy New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, is a notoriously hard-nosed litigator.
But what’s also intriguing is that Gibson, Dunn is one of the country’s most expensive law firms. Which raises the question of how much the state is paying to bring in this non-New Jersey team to represent the New Jersey governor’s office? And what is Christie’s rationale for passing over the local talent in a state full of terrific lawyers and law firms?
Adding more to the mystery is that the press release announcing Mastro’s hiring didn’t explain exactly who Mastro’s client is. The press release simply says that “The Christie Administration” hired Gibson, Dunn.
I assume that means the governor’s office, or the executive branch of the state government. But that would mean Mastro’s client — and the entity paying bills that are likely to run quickly into six figures and beyond — is a government office, not an individual or individuals.