TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Newly released emails involving a political payback plot orchestrated by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aides show the governor’s former campaign manager was kept informed of complaints over September’s lane closures at the George Washington Bridge even while lanes remained blocked.
More emails involving political adviser Bill Stepien were made public in a legal filing Monday.
Stepien has asked a judge to quash a subpoena from a legislative panel investigating the deliberate closing of traffic lanes near the George Washington Bridge to create gridlock.
The panel has subpoenaed documents and communications from dozens of people and organizations. The move appears to have been political retribution targeted at Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, who did not endorse Christie in his re-election bid.
The committee is trying to determine how far up the chain of command the plot went. Christie has denied having any knowledge of the plan to close the lanes beforehand.
Stepien and Bridget Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, are the only potential witnesses who are fighting the subpoenas, as they argue that submitting the documents carries the risk of self-incrimination. Stepien’s lawyer, however, says his client has done nothing wrong.
The scandal has overshadowed Christie’s administration and raised questions about his chances in a 2016 presidential race.
One email shows Christie’s top appointee at the bridge agency following up with Stepien on a letter of complaint on the fourth full day of lane closures.
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