Home | National | New Jersey 'super committee' issues 20 subpoenas in Chris Christie 'Bridgegate' scandal including his CHIEF OF STAFF -- but doesn't intend to haul the governor in for questioning

New Jersey 'super committee' issues 20 subpoenas in Chris Christie 'Bridgegate' scandal including his CHIEF OF STAFF -- but doesn't intend to haul the governor in for questioning

By
Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
  • Four days of George Washington Bridge delays were allegedly caused on purpose in order to punish a Democratic Party mayor
  • A new legislative committee in Trenton, N.J. has issued subpoenas to 17 people and 3 organizations, seeking documents and, eventually, testimony
  • Gov. Chris Christie is not among those ordered to provide documents or show up in a committee hearing, but his closest aides are now involved
  • The subpoenaed former Christie chief of staff Kevin O'Dowd likely knew 'anything Christie knew about the whole bridge plot,' one aids predicted
  • A former Port Authority official has already pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify

By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

PUBLISHED: 18:51 EST, 16 January 2014 | UPDATED: 19:28 EST, 16 January 2014

0

View
comments

Gov. Chris Christie's former deputy chief of staff, his former political campaign manager, and his most recent chief of staff – now his nominee to be the state's attorney general – will be served subpoenas today or tomorrow over the Bridgegate scandal.

They are among 17 people and three organizations in New Jersey who will come under the gaze of a bipartisan New Jersey legislative 'super investigative committee,' sources inside the General Assembly's Democratic majority office told MailOnline late on Thursday.

But Christie himself is not among those being targeted for documents and forced testimony.

'There's no intention right now to subpoena the governor,' Select Committee on Investigation chairman John Wisniewski said Thursday after the panel's first meeting.

'We've seen nothing in the documents that has – you know, an email from the governor, or to the governor. We've not seen any kind of direct link.'

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Big fish: Former Christie chief of staff Kevin O'Dowd, now in line to be the state attorney general, is reportedly on the 'super investigative committee' subpoena list

Big fish: Former Christie chief of staff Kevin O'Dowd, now in line to be the state attorney general, is reportedly on the 'super investigative committee' subpoena list

John Wisniewski brought 17 names and 3 organizations to his bipartisan Special Committee on Investigations on Thursday, and all 20 subpoenas were approved in under two hours

John Wisniewski brought 17 names and 3 organizations to his bipartisan Special Committee on Investigations on Thursday, and all 20 subpoenas were approved in under two hours

Wisniewski spokesman Tom O'Donovan did not respond directly to a request for confirmation that the three Christie officials named to MailOnline – Bridget Kelly, Bill Stepien and Kevin O'Dowd – were among those the committee wants to interview in connection with the 'Bridgegate' scandal that has thrown the governor's political future into question.

But another Democratic legislative staffer said it would be 'unthinkable' if they were not on the list.

Christie said Tuesday that his administration would 'cooperate with all appropriate investigations' into the politically inspired traffic jams on the George Washington Bridge that backed up traffic in Fort Lee, N.J. on four days in September.

'We're certainly an appropriate investigation,' Wisniewski told reporters Thursday following the closed-door committee session.

He said the eight Democratic and four Republican assembly members reached 'consensus' that all 17 people on the final wide-ranging list were 'appropriate' targets for subpoenas.

Bill Stepien (L) was Christie's campaign manager and stood to cash in on a consulting contract with the Republican Governors Association, which the New Jersey governor leads this year. He's been let go, and is reportedly now under subpoena

Bill Stepien (L) was Christie's campaign manager and stood to cash in on a consulting contract with the Republican Governors Association, which the New Jersey governor leads this year. He's been let go, and is reportedly now under subpoena

 

Christie publicly announced a week ago that he had fired Kelly after he learned that she was linked to the bridge lane closures, which were reportedly an act of political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, who declined to endorse Christie's 2013 re-election bid.

The governor was had less harsh words about Stepien, his former campaign manager, announcing only that he had lost a consulting contract with the Christie-led Republican Governors Association, and would not be permitted to run for the chairmanship of the state Republican party.

O'Dowd, however, is the closest of the three to Gov. Christie. As Kelly's direct supervisor, a Democratic assembly staffer told MailOnline, he is presumed to have known 'anything Christie knew about the whole bridge plot.'

'And if Bridget Kelly was following the governor's orders, there's no way O'Dowd wasn't the middle-man,' he said.

Business as usual: Christie spoke to media and homeowners about the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Sandy in the town of Manahawkin on Thursday

Business as usual: Christie spoke to media and homeowners about the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Sandy in the town of Manahawkin on Thursday

Wisniewski (L) is driving the investigation into why the Port Authority temporarily closed some access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee in September 2013

Wisniewski (L) is driving the investigation into why the Port Authority temporarily closed some access lanes to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee in September 2013

Christie has forcefully denied having any knowledge of the scheme, or playing any role in directing it. His unequivocal statements have set up a political scenario where a single email, text message or statement to the contrary could sink his chances of winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.

O'Dowd's confirmation hearing for the attorney general role is on hold indefinitely until his status in the investigation is resolved.

The New Jersey Democratic majority announced Thursday afternoon that a total of 20 subpoenas will be issued, most by Friday morning.

Asked if any of the committee's targets would be surprised, he said, 'I don't think so.'

But he said several of those on the committee's list have already retained lawyers.

Wisniewski insisted Thursday that he would not publicly say who will receive the subpoenas until they have been served.

 
Bridget Kelly, O'Dowd's deputy, sent a now-infamous email to a Port Authority official predicting 'traffic problems' in the New Jersey town of Fort Lee. Christie fired her a week ago and is now reportedly under subpoena

Bridget Kelly, O'Dowd's deputy, sent a now-infamous email to a Port Authority official predicting 'traffic problems' in the New Jersey town of Fort Lee. Christie fired her a week ago and is now reportedly under subpoena

'We just want to respect the process and give them an opportunity to be served. ... and that they didn't find out about it online or in the papers,' he said.

'We're not going to tell you,' he insisted.

But news quickly leaked out about a few of the people slated to join former Port Authority officials David Wildstein and Bill Baroni, who have been under subpoena since late in autumn.

Baroni offered lengthy testimony in November. Wildstein invoked the Fifth amendment and refused to answer questions during a Jan. 9 hearing of a separate committee, also chaired by Wisniewski

The Middlesex County, N.J. Democrat told reporters that his newly constituted committee would also extend the existing subpoenas, complaining that the Port Authority had tried to run out the clock' on the legislature's previous demands, which expired on Tuesday.

Kelly, O'Dowd and Stepien could not be reached for comment. Christie's office did not respond to a request for a reaction.

MOST WATCHED NEWS VIDEOS

MOST READ NEWS

 

  1. Conservative Christian politician Vance McAllister caught kissing staffer at party (4.00)

  2. Terrified pup trapped in icy river shows his boundless gratitude to man who came to his rescue (3.00)

  3. Chloe Campbell's distraught mother trapped in a 'living nightmare' (3.00)

  4. Tribal elder's advice to the giggling Cambridges as Kate recycles chic scarlet suit for trip to earthquake-hit Christchurch (1.00)

  5. Kim Kardashian denied access to Vanity Fair party (0)

  6. Russian troops threaten to shoot Ukrainian soldiers in tense stand-off (0)

  7. Drunk tractor driver decapitates three people in head-on crash (0)

  8. Boxer vows to fight on – after 51st defeat in row (0)

  9. Forbes rich list names world’s youngest billionaires (0)

  10. Spoiled’ teen takes parents to court (0)

  11. Pregnant woman drives kids into ocean in Florida (0)

  12. Oprah Winfrey tells Lindsay Lohan to ‘cut the bull****’ in trailer for new reality show Lindsay (0)

  13. CU study could change the way autism is researched in the future (0)

  14. Detectives investigate homicide in Jefferson County (0)

  15. Lakewood woman visits firefighters, paramedics who saved her life (0)

  16. How Hitler's photographer returned to Dachau concentration camp to take series of chilling images five years after those who survived torture and death at the hands of the Nazis were set free (0)

  17. How to be a super sleeper: Transform your life by overcoming the modern malaise of insomnia (0)

  18. Beijing hotel workers already 'fed up' with Obama entourage in 3400-square-foot, $8,350-per-night suite inconveniencing 'pretty much everyone' -- and the first lady's mother is 'barking at the staff' (0)

  19. Pedestrian seriously injured after being hit by vehicle (0)

  20. Kurt Cobain’s case stays closed despite rumors; it was gun suicide (0)

  21. Nine killed in attack at Kabul hotel (0)

  22. Harry Connick Jr. criticizes smiling singer during 'provocative' song on 'American Idol' (0)

  23. Final nail in the coffin for Blackberry? Barack Obama may ditch beloved phone for an ANDROID (0)

  24. One-man band football player, 18, who plays NINE instruments, offered 150 scholarships (0)

  25. Firefighter injured in Pueblo house blaze (0)

  26. Forget the plastic, new tech sporting wood finishes (0)

  27. Motel fire on New Jersey shore kills three, critically injures three (0)

  28. TODAY: SUV vs. fire truck, I-70 closures, beer taps at Governor’s Mansion (0)

  29. GOP operative: Colorado elections law impacting fundraising (0)

  30. January Jones poses nude for photo shoot, admits she would sleep with Rihanna (0)

  31. Too good looking to rape? Man charged with sexual assault claims woman consented to sex as he uses his appearance as his defence (0)

  32. The top 10 best rated luxury hotels in the world (0)

  33. Russian millionaire Pavel Ushanov on the run after beating girlfriend (0)

  34. 'The look I'm going for is a blow-up sex doll', says transsexual Katella Dash (0)

  35. Norwegian museum to return Matisse painting looted by Hermann Goering (0)

  36. France offers to send warplanes to patrol skies over nervous Baltic states as Putin signs off on Crimea annexation and Ukraine strengthens ties with EU (0)

  37. Democrats respond to AFP ad with anti-Gardner TV spot (0)

  38. Man arrested, accused of sucking a woman’s toes at N.C. Walmart (0)

  39. Colorado Rapids get ready for home opener (0)

  40. Good Day Good Garden: Spring lawn care (0)

  41. Why dark chocolate really IS good for you: Stomach microbes turn cocoa into a natural drug that reduces blood pressure (0)

  42. Alexis Shapiro's gastric bypass surgery STOPPED because her liver is too enlarged (0)

  43. Bus driver BEATEN for not having enough change (0)

  44. Men find women more attractive with LESS make-up on (0)

  45. By all odds, Warren Buffett’s $1 billion is safe (0)

  46. Time to go camping! (0)

  47. Kate Upton is the new face of Bobbi Brown cosmetics (0)

  48. Shailene Woodley got rid of all her belogings after shooting 'Divergent' (0)

  49. L'Wren Scott's company spokesman breaks his silence to DENY she was 'riddled by debt' and insists her 'long-term prospects were encouraging' (0)

  50. In pictures: Noosa Festival of Surfing, where even the dogs take tot he waves (0)

  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version
  • Plain text Plain text

Rate this article

0

Photo Galleries

PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity Awkward family photos 
 
UPDATED: Faces of Meth PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter

More galleries ››