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
- 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
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
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
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
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
'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
Colorado NewsGet the latest Colorado news, sports, weather, entertainment, business & political news and more from Colorado Newsday.
Rate this article
|PHOTOS: Plastic Surgery Celebrity||Awkward family photos|
|UPDATED: Faces of Meth||PHOTOS: Celebrities all a-Twitter|
Woman on death row for killing 'man who tried to rape her' will be hanged at dawn: Mother called to Iranian prison to see her daughter for last time
Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was sentenced to death in 2009 by an Iranian courtShe was found guilty of murdering a government intelligence operative Her mother Shole Pakravan ...
- Honey Boo Boo shock claim that Mama June's now adult daughter was victim of child molester
- 'But I paid so much money!': Woman drugged after wisdom teeth surgery is devastated that she hasn't woken up looking like Nicki Minaj... and isn't friends with Ellen DeGeneres
- Spoiled teen takes parents to court
- HIV postitive sex offender 'raped a teen, 14, and two-year-old infecting them both'
- Kim Kardashian denied access to Vanity Fair party
- Thief who stole a $4 packet of cigarettes is smoked out after police in Florida use patrol units, dogs and even their helicopter to catch the teenager tearaway
- Brother and sister of Jennifer Laude allegedly murdered by US soldier storm Philippine military base
- Google's Alan Eustace secretly breaks highest parachute jump record
- Mama June seen for the first time since daughter Anna Cardwell confirmed she was victim of mother's sex offender boyfriend
- Boxer vows to fight on – after 51st defeat in row
- New York Ebola doctor's fiancee and TWO friends quarantined amid fears he gave them deadly virus: Potential victims in isolation - and there could be more after medic spent SEVEN days riding the subway, bowling and traveling in Uber taxis
- Hazmat crews sterilize New York Ebola doctor's apartment as it's revealed he ate at MEATBALL SHOP on his criss-crossing route across the city
- He's superman!: Town celebrates Halloween, Christmas, and a birthday early for a four-year-old boy with terminal cancer and just days left to live
- A daily wine or beer is good for your memory and better than being teetoal
- Melissa Rivers to inherit $100M in cash and assets from Joan Rivers
- One man and his Harley: Brad Bakelar of Reno rides his motorcycle with his companion, Moki, a five-year-old Goldendoodle
- 'You are so loved': Lawyer who was with Corporal Nathan Cirillo in his final moments describes the support and aide he received from complete strangers desperate to save his life
- The D'oh! Nut: Burger joint pays homage to Homer Simpson
- Decorated soldier who fought in 'Black Hawk Down' battle in Somalia dies at 52
- Revenge porn victim, Folami Prehaya, breaks anonymity in bid to help others
- Drunk tractor driver decapitates three people in head-on crash
- Forbes rich list names world’s youngest billionaires
- Former director of Breckenridge Film Festival Dawna Foxx given 5 years for embezzling $300K
- Black flag of ISIS flies over Kobane streets away from Kurdish stronghold
- Blitzing the black flag of ISIS: Extraordinary moment massive US airstrike obliterated jihadis' emblem flying on hill above Kobane (while a lone sentry stands his ground)
- Kevin Charles Brown committed suicide after interviewed over Claire Hough murder
- Bikini-top of the charts!: Video of a singer struggling to keep a puppy from pulling off her bathing suit has over TWO MILLION views...but her music video only has a few thousand
- Oprah Winfrey tells Lindsay Lohan to ‘cut the bull****’ in trailer for new reality show Lindsay
- Denver Man Michael McGinley threatened to kill wife in phone call at DA’s office
- Couple stole little girl's iPod in Aurora
- Chewbacca and Where's Wally break up Mr Incredible and Batgirl brawl in LA video
- Disney's Frozen T-shirt shows Elsa 'encouraging children to swear' say parents
- British tourist Stuart Gravenell savaged by ape during visit to Gibraltar
- Highest Ice Age human camp discovered in Peruvian Andes
- Was it a terror attack? Police probe extremist links as online rants of New York hatchet attacker emerge after he was shot dead in attack on group of cops in Queens
- Man, 85, is 'tied up for 20 HOURS and robbed' after wining and dining 17-year-old twin sisters he met on a sugar daddy dating site
- Five-year-old son testifies against his father, Michael Lawrence, who is found guilty of murder in the death of girlfriend Angelica Olivarez who was on the run following the fatal drive-by shooting of a six-year-old girl
- He's lionised by the BBC and The Guardian as a political seer. The truth, says STEPHEN GLOVER, is that Russell Brand is a ludicrous charlatan
- Knee injury to sideline Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan 6-8 weeks
- Why one Aurora victim's boyfriend proposed with a heartrending trailer in a movie theater two years after she was shot during Batman screening
- Pakistan to bring in anti-cannibalism law after brothers dug up corpses for curry
- Campaign shows what you would look like after 20 years of smoking
- Russian troops threaten to shoot Ukrainian soldiers in tense stand-off
- Pregnant woman drives kids into ocean in Florida
- Inside China's top secret nuclear bunker built under a mountain
- Kayelisa Martin smothered her baby then held body in her arms as she gave police a statement
- Kristen Stewart to take a break from acting
- 4,000-year-old Phaistos Disk 'stores' a spiral-shaped prayer to a mother, expert claims