TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey lawmakers investigating the traffic jams at the heart of the scandal engulfing Gov. Chris Christie said Friday that federal prosecutors have ordered them to share documents they have gathered.
Committee co-chairs Sen. Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman John Wisniewski said that they will comply with the subpoena from the U.S. attorney’s office.
“I’m not surprised,” Wisniewski said. “Their focus has been, at this point and time, to assemble the information they need to make the determinations that are relevant for their function and the committee possesses a great deal of documents that we’ve assembled.”
Wisniewski said handing over the documents has no bearing on their investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane closures, calling it a legislative inquiry.
Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle, who is also on the committee, said it’s about Port Authority reform and changing the culture to be more transparent.
“We just want information I believe the people of New Jersey are entitled to,” she told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.
Lawmakers and federal prosecutors have both been probing the September lane closures near the George Washington Bridge, that were ordered by an ex-aide to Christie and a former official at Port Authority as apparent political retribution aimed at the mayor of Fort Lee.
Christie says he was not involved in the scheme, a stance echoed by a taxpayer-funded report commissioned by Christie’s office.
The subpoenas represent a new way the twin investigations are intertwined.
Two key witnesses subpoenaed by the lawmakers, former Christie aide Bridget Kelly, who wrote in an email, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” and former campaign manager Bill Stepien, have refused to comply with requests from the committee.
In a stance approved by a state court judge, they have cited their right not to incriminate themselves, noting the law enforcement probe.
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