Another Former Christie Aide Refuses to Comply with Subpoena

Former campaign manager Bill Stepien joins fired aide Bridget Kelly in snubbing bridge investigation

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Another former aide to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has refused to comply with subpoenas from a committee investigating the politically-motivated closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge last year, setting up a a potential legal showdown between investigators and former Christie staffers.

Bill Stepien, Christie’s former campaign manager, is citing Constitutional protections against self-incrimination and unreasonable search and seizures in refusing to turn over records to the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee. He’s not the only former aide to refuse to comply with the investigation; the lawyer for Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s former deputy chief of staff who was fired after the scandal came to light, said a subpoena issued to her was “constitutionally defective.”

Stepien’s attorney sent a letter to the attorney hired by the committee saying, “his principled objections to the subpoena raise significant legal issues that are no less valid because they here arise in the context of a politically-charged investigation.” The letter said the attorney could think of “no lawful way” that the committee could obtain the documents it seeks in a subpoena.

New Jersey State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, the co-chair of the committee, said that the next step would be to take the matter to court. Other key figures in the scandal have also cited Constitutional issues in refusing to comply with the committee’s subpoenas.

The committee investigating the September closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge has issued nearly 40 subpoenas to determine who authorized the closures and whether they were politically motivated. Christie’s administration came under fire earlier this year after it emerged that aides had deliberately snarled traffic on the bridge out of apparent retribution at the mayor of Fort Lee, N.J, who had refused to endorse the governor in his re-election bid. Christie has repeatedly said he knew nothing about the scheme.

[USA Today]

5 comments
ThomasHall
ThomasHall

The lack of cooperation means it is time for court since it is becoming obvious that these folks are covering up their crimes. Christie is among the growing list of corrupt GOP governors under investigation like Walker in Wisc., McDonald in Virginia, and now Christie in New Jersey. Sooner or later, people to protect their butts will crack.

DavidStrayer
DavidStrayer

No matter what is in the documents that are being sought, the impression people take away from such refusals is that there is something to hide.  


None of this bodes well for Christie.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

Meanwhile Christie's legal team is running around the State trying to intimidate witnesses to his corrupt practices. Surely the actions of an innocent man.

Arimathean
Arimathean

@mantisdragon91  I don't know that we can really pin this to Christie in any meaningful way.  These guys were all fired from Christie's administration.  IF Christie were completely innocent, this is how it'd all play out.  Of course, it may be a cover-up, but I don't think we're justified in presuming that it is absent any real evidence.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@Arimathean @mantisdragon91Except of course for this little nugget

In only the latest example, his legal team is spitting paper at the Jersey pols who’ve crossed him. Christie’s choice as lead attorney for his office’s “internal review,” Randy Mastro, sent a letter, obtained by the Bergen Record, to Hoboken mayor Dawn Zimmer requesting a “private interview” and documents, including her correspondence with the press.

“In a show of force,” the Record reports, Mastro also wrote to “Hoboken officials that he had assembled a team of ‘five former federal prosecutors’ to look into Zimmer’s claims.”


http://www.thenation.com/blog/178327/chris-christie-bullies-again


And he has attempted to do the same to the mayor of Ft. Lee


http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/02/18/fort-lee-mayor-mark-sokolich-declines-interview-with-with-christie-lawyer/