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Trump FBI pick represented Christie a year before agreement


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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — President Donald Trump's pick to run the FBI represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for nearly a year before a mandatory retainer agreement was signed, according to records obtained by a New York City radio station.

Christopher Wray began representing Christie in September 2014 during the George Washington Bridge lane-closing investigation, but a formal agreement wasn't approved until August 2015, WNYC reported Monday (http://bit.ly/2tTJuoj ).

A spokesman for the state attorney general's office said it had no comment. Wray didn't immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

Wray's firm, Atlanta-based King & Spalding, has been paid $2.1 million since Christie hired him in 2014.

Three former Christie aides were convicted or pleaded guilty in the case, in which lanes on the world's busiest bridge were closed to retaliate against a Democratic mayor who wouldn't endorse Christie. The governor himself was not charged.

Several lawyers who work with state government told the radio station the extended delay — which came while Christie was preparing for and then launching his failed presidential campaign — was unusual.

"Eleven months is a little on the long side — and in the very least, it's kind of sloppy," Jim Eisenhower, a Philadelphia attorney and former federal prosecutor told WNYC. He said some lag time is expected because of government bureaucracy, but he had never heard of such a long period of time in his 30 years of practicing law.

American Bar Association and New Jersey court rules say terms of attorney retention should be communicated in writing "before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation."

Wray is awaiting confirmation from the full U.S. Senate after his nomination was approved Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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