Ex-Christie Aides to Judge: Quash Subpoenas

Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 02:38 AM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Lawyers for two key figures in a political payback plot ensnaring New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration will be in court to try to convince a judge not to force them to turn over text messages and other private communications to state legislators investigating the matter.

Fired Christie staffer Bridget Kelly and two-time campaign manager Bill Stepien say complying with the subpoenas carries the risk of self-incrimination. Kelly planned to be in court on Tuesday; Stepien does not.

The subpoenas seek documents involving the intentional blocking of traffic near the George Washington Bridge in September, which created hours-long back-ups in nearby Fort Lee, apparently to punish the town's Democratic mayor.

A parallel criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office is seeking to uncover whether federal laws were broken. The legislative panel wants to find out how high up Christie's chain of command the lane-closing scheme went and why it was hatched.

Christie, whose viability as a 2016 Republican presidential candidate has been called into question since the scandal broke, has said he knew nothing of the plot's planning or execution. He said in December that no one on his staff was involved, a statement he was forced to retract in January when private emails showed otherwise. A message from Kelly saying "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," appeared to set the scheme in motion.

The reply, "got it," from a Christie loyalist at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that runs the bridge, implies a prior conversation about the lane closings occurred.

In all, five people close to Christie have been fired or resigned. Some 32 people or organizations close to the governor, including his re-election campaign and Republican State Committee, have been subpoenaed. All but Kelly and Stepien have complied or are in the process of producing documents.

Kelly and Stepien are attempting to invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. They argue that the subpoenas are overly broad and require them to make judgments about which documents involve the lane closings.

Lawyers for the legislative panel say the two are not entitled to blanket protection from the subpoenas and have not produced sufficient evidence to back up their fear of prosecution claim.

Stepien's lawyer said FBI agents visited his client's apartment and inquired whether he paid the rent on time; Kelly's lawyer said agents sought to interview his client and her parents, but that no one was willing to talk.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Obama Executive Order Gives Pay Raise to Federal Workers

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:36 PM

Federal workers and uniformed military service members are getting a 1 percent pay boost. . . .

Mental Illness History Ruled on Appeal to Not Bar Gun Ownership

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 22:14 PM

A federal appeals court concluded that a history of mental illness shouldn't bar citizens from owning a weapon in a firs . . .

China Arrests US Aid Worker on North Korean Border

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 21:56 PM

China has arrested an American Christian aid worker based near its border with North Korea, his lawyer said Saturday, as . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved