Chris Christie: The noose tightens further
Kate Zernike and William Rashbaum report in the NY Times:
The New Jersey legislative committee investigating the controversial lane closings at the George Washington Bridge authorized 18 new subpoenas Monday, including one seeking records that will show who was aboard state police helicopters during the four days of the closings in September.
The committee also voted that claims last week against self-incrimination by two former aides to Gov. Chris Christie were insufficient and that they must turn over documents related to the closings. Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the Democratic co-leader of the panel, said that the Fifth Amendment protests by Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Stepien in response to earlier subpoenas “do not pass the scrutiny that is required.”
The committee voted to allow its special counsel, Reid Schar, to establish new dates for them to turn over documents, and to take whatever measures he believes necessary to compel them if they refuse again.
Mr. Stepien’s lawyer, Kevin H. Marino, indicated that he would fight the subpoena in court.
“We have provided the Committee with a detailed explanation of our constitutional and common law objections to the subpoena,” he said in an email. “If the Committee asks a court to enforce that subpoena despite its legal infirmities, we will bring those objections to the court’s attention.”
Others on the list of new subpoenas include the governor’s re-election campaign and office, as well as five specific staff members, and several employees or executives at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the bridge. Among them is Phillip Kwon, a deputy general counsel, who a former authority official, David Wildstein, has said coached people there before a legislative hearing in December, in an attempt to cover up the vindictive motive for the lane closings.
The names were on a list obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Wisniewski would not confirm them, saying that he would identify the recipients only after the subpoenas are served, likely beginning tomorrow.
Last month, . . .