Former Christie Aides Ready to Fight Subpoenas

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 07:19 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Two former top aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie implicated in the George Washington Bridge traffic jam are resisting subpoenas from the legislative committee investigating the scandal, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Lawyers for former campaign manager Bill Stepien and former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly indicated they would go to court to quash the subpoenas on Fifth Amendment grounds against self-incrimination.

Stepien's lawyer, Kevin Marino, said the Legislature's inquiry was a "politically charged investigation." Kelly's attorney Michael Critchley said his client's refusal to turn over documents to the committee remains firm.

Both aides were forced out of their jobs when their roles in the politically motivated closure of commuter lanes onto the George Washington Bridge came to light. The resulting traffic snarls in Fort Lee, N.J., were allegedly intended to penalize Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie's re-election last November.

Christie has maintained that he did not know what his aides were up to until their actions came out in the media. His outside counsel, Randy Mastro, is conducting his own review of the affair as he represents the governor's office in the investigations.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in 2009, co-chair a joint state Assembly and Senate investigative committee looking into the scandal. In addition to eight Democrats and four Republicans, Chicago lawyer Reid Schar serves as special counsel, according to the Associated Press.

U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman is conducting a separate federal investigation.

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