State Police, Christie Staffers Get New Subpoenas [AUDIO]
A document obtained by Townsquare Media reveals that the legislative panel probing the Bridgegate scandal is issuing 18 new subpoenas.
Gov. Chris Christie's office, his re-election campaign, four new members of his staff, one of his rejected State Supreme Court nominees and the custodian of records for the State Police aviation unit are among those on the new subpoena list.
On Monday, the committee met for roughly two hours behind closed doors. When members emerged, the panel took action on two outstanding subpoenas. Democrats on the committee then briefly took questions from the throng of reporters who gathered in the State House Annex.
"The committee met in executive session and discussed the issuance of additional subpoenas," said panel co-chair, Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville). "We're going to wait until all of the documents are served, and then we'll fill you in on the details of who got served for what."
The document obtained by Townsquare Media reveals the full list:
- Chris Christie for Governor, the governor's re-election campaign
- Christie's office
- Regina Egea, director of the authorities unit, governor's office
- Nicole Crifo, senior counsel to the authorities unit, governor's office
- Jeanne Ashmore, director of constituent relations, governor's office
- Rosemary Iannacone, director of operations, governor's office
- Barbara Panebianco, executive assistant to Bridget Anne Kelly, governor's office
- Custodian of records, State Police aviation unit
- William "Pat" Schuber, commissioner at the Port Authority
- Bill Baroni, former deputy executive director at the Port Authority
- Custodian of records, Port Authority
- Steve Coleman, deputy director of media relations, Port Authority
- Phillip Kwon, deputy general counsel, Port Authority
- John Ma, chief of staff to Executive Director Patrick Foye, Port Authority
- Matthew Bell, special assistant to former Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni, Port Authority
- Gretchen DiMarco, assistant to Baroni, Port Authority
- Arielle Schwarz, special assistant to former Director of Interstate Capital Projects David Wildstein, Port Authority
- Mark Muriello, assistant director of Tunnels, Bridges & Terminals, Port Authority
Of particular interest to many is the inclusion of the custodian of records for the State Police aviation unit. If the committee is successful in getting the information it is requesting, documents could reveal if Christie's helicopter flight plan from New York to New Jersey on Sept. 11 took him over the George Washington Bridge while access lanes were still closed.
Some of those on the list for the new round have been subpoenaed before. The new subpoenas seek new information, according to a source who requested to remain anonymous.
Access lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge were closed on Sept. 9. That caused massive traffic jams in Fort Lee. The legislative committee is probing whether the closings were orchestrated to punish the town's Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie's re-election bid.
In the public portion of the hearing, the panel approved motions having to do with subpoenas it has already sent out.
Christie's former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly and Christie's two-time campaign manager Bill Stepien have both been fired over the so-called Bridgegate scandal.
Kelly wrote in an email to former Port Authority official David Wildstein, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
Christie said Kelly was fired for lying to him about her involvement. Stepien was let go because in other emails, he seemed gleeful about the huge traffic jams in Fort Lee.
Both Kelly and Stepien have refused to turn over subpoenaed documents to the committee. They claim doing so would overlap with the U.S. Attorney's Office probe into the matter and infringe on their Fifth Amendment rights. The committee approved motions regarding Kelly and Stepien on Monday.
"The first motion was to validate, to say that the subject of inquiry was valid and was relevant to the committee's investigation here," Wisniewski said. "The second motion considered the objections that they had made on constitutional grounds and the committee rejected those. The third motion was to authorize counsel to set a date by which they have to comply, and in the failure of that compliance, counsel is authorized to take all appropriate legal steps to enforce those subpoenas."