New Bridgegate Subpoenas Possible [AUDIO]
Earlier this year, a judge ruled that Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien did not have to respond to subpoenas issued by the Select Committee on Investigation, the joint legislative panel probing Bridgegate. The committee's co-chair said Thursday that new subpoenas could be drafted and issued for two of the key players in the scandal, but he also suggested there is more than one way to skin a cat.
"There are a lot of people we can ask to potentially receive the information we need from Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien," said Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville). "If we could obtain that information through other means, through testimony it may obviate the need to issue those subpoenas."
According to Wisniewski it is likely, but not a foregone conclusion that lawyers for Kelly and Stepien would again go to court to fight new subpoenas. That is why the co-chair wants to seek out pertinent testimony from others first.
"We're certainly going to reserve the right to modify and issue additional subpoenas, but I think we're going to see how this plays out before we jump to that conclusion," Wisniewski said.
Gov. Chris Christie cut ties with Stepien, his two-time campaign manager, after Stepien's involvement in Bridgegate became evident. The governor ordered the firing of Kelly after he learned she authored the now-infamous "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email.
The SCI was to receive testimony June 3 from Port Authority of New York and New Jersey director Patrick Foye, but Foye cancelled his appearance at the request of U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, who is also investigating the scandal.
"The committee's position has always been to cooperatively work with the other investigations that are ongoing, and our decision to postpone the testimony of Pat Foye is in keeping with that principal," Wisniewski said. "We expect to have Pat Foye come back at a later date; we just don't have that date set yet."
In September, access lanes to the George Washington Bridge were closed without warning in Fort Lee. Traffic was snarled for four days. Democrats believe it was done as political payback because the town's Democratic mayor refused to endorse Christie's re-election bid.
The governor has denied any involvement, and an internal probe he commissioned cleared him of any wrongdoing.