Former Chris Christie Campaign Manager Pleads the Fifth in Bridge Investigation
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's former campaign manager, Bill Stepien is fighting a subpoena in the on going George Washington Bridge traffic scandal investigation by invoking the Fifth Amendment.
“... the very real possibility that his act of producing documents and things responsive to the subpoena might compel him to furnish a link in the chain of evidence that could be used to ensnare him in the ambiguous circumstances of a criminal prosecution and thus force him to become a witness against himself, in violation of his fundamental right against self-incrimination — is a more than compelling reason to withdraw that instrument,” wrote Bill Stepien’s legal team.
Christie has already criticized Stepien's "tone" as revealed in previously surfaced documents as part of the investigation. The NJ Governor also moved Stepien aside from roles in which he had planned to use him at both the Republican Governor's Association and NJ state's Republican Party.
Stepien's lawyers assert his innocence:
“Bill Stepien has not broken any laws,” his legal team wrote in the letter, which was reported on earlier Friday in The Washington Post and other news outlets. “He is one of the most well respected political consultants in America. Indeed, as is now widely known, he was poised to become Chairman of the New Jersey Republican Party and had already been retained as a consultant to the powerful Republican Governors’ Association when he was summarily disqualified from both positions following the publication of two email exchanges he had with executives of the Port Authority [the agency that controls the bridge].
It would appear they want to avoid cooperating with what might be termed a fishing expedition by a Democrat-led panel that could ultimately come back to hurt their client at some point in the future.