The Democratic National Committee is working to keep New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie out of the White House in 2016.
"Keep Chris Christie AWAY FROM the White House," a pop-up advertisement sponsored by the DNC says.
The words appear in large type with a picture of a bridge above them, alluding to the Bridge-gate scandal that critics have charged was political payback to a Democratic mayor who did not back the Republican governor in his re-election bid last year.
The ad, which is actually a petition, appears when readers click on the Rawstory.com website. Newsmax has been unable to determine whether the ad appears on any other websites.
A spokesman for the DNC could not be reached for comment late Thursday. A Christie representative also could not be reached for comment.
“Chris Christie is a bully and his administration put politics ahead of even his own constituents,” the ad says in smaller type.
The pop-up then requests a name, email address, and ZIP code.
"Add your name and join Democrats helping to keep Christie and other Republican bullies away from the White House," the ad says.
This information appears at the top of the ad: “Paid for by the DNC. Democrats.org. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.”
The DNC's advertisement comes as federal prosecutors escalated their investigation into the closing on crucial access lanes on the George Washington Bridge that led to massive gridlock for four days last September.
The spiraling Bridge-gate scandal threatens to undermine Christie's second term and a possible presidential run in 2016. The governor has fired one aide connected to the scandal, has accepted responsibility for the debacle, and has pledged full cooperation with investigators.
"I know our citizens deserve better. Much better," Christie said in his State of the State speech
last week. "I am the governor and I am ultimately responsible for all that happens on my watch — both good and bad."
Christie has denied any knowledge in the planning or execution of the closures, which occurred at the toll-booth lanes at Fort Lee, and no evidence has been found linking him to them.
Earlier Thursday, prosecutors subpoenaed documents from Christie's re-election campaign and New Jersey's Republican leadership, according to Mark Sheridan, a lawyer representing Christie for Governor and the Republican State Committee.
were disclosed as Christie's campaign said that it had hired the Patton Boggs law firm in Washington in the case. Sheridan works for the firm and is general counsel for the state Republican committee.
A New Jersey General Assembly committee investigating the traffic jams has also issued subpoenas to the two organizations, as well as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the bi-state agency that oversees the George Washington Bridge and other transportation operations in the region.
"The campaign and the state party intend to cooperate with the U.S. attorney's office and the state legislative committee and will respond to the subpoenas accordingly," Sheridan said.
The federal subpoenas are due Feb. 5. The state committee subpoenas must be returned Feb. 3.
Earlier this month, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said only that his office was reviewing the matter "to determine whether a federal law was implicated."
Three local access lanes leading to the Fort Lee toll booths were closed Sept. 9-13 without notice, apparently for a Port Authority traffic study. This slowed school buses and emergency workers, including those responding to a call of an unconscious 91-year-old woman who later died at a Fort Lee hospital.
Emails and text messages turned over to legislators suggested that might have been a message to the town's Democratic mayor, Mark Sokolich, for not endorsing Christie last year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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