With a deadline that many of those subpoenaed attempted to avoid looming, the New Jersey Legislature received its first round of documents related to its investigation of the bridge scandal threatening to engulf the Chris Christie administration.
The legislative committee responsible for investigating the politically driven traffic disaster that trapped Fort Lee residents in four hours of gridlock last September announced Monday that it had received many documents related to the investigation and would begin processing them. According to Reuters, the committee did not give any details regarding the documents themselves, having just received them, but said that the transfer of information was “as is typical in such situations.”
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who chairs the investigative committee, announced earlier in the day that those waiting for the documents to become public would have to continue doing so, but that documents were indeed pouring in.
The documents – logistical documentation, emails, text records, and other communications – were sought from 18 individuals and three groups earlier this month. These subpoenas are different from some issued by the U.S. Attorney, of which the Governor confirmed Sunday night in a radio interview that his office had received one.
In the hours before the announcement of new documents reaching the committee, reports surfaced that a number of those from whom the committee requested documents sought extensions to fully comply with the subpoenas. Two major figures in the bridge scandal have made public their desire not to comply with the subpoenas at all, however. Former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien and former Christie deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly have both invoked their Fifth Amendment rights to shield themselves from having to produce documents. Additionally, Kelly’s attorney has cited an ongoing “parallel” grand jury investigation that requested the documents and made it impossible for her to comply to both requests.
The legislature will be reviewing the documents submitted in the coming days, as well as requests for extensions from some subpoenaed. Upon processing the documents, the New Jersey legislature will make them available for public consumption on the legislature’s website.