The author of the now infamous “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email refuses to testify or hand over documents to the New Jersey Legislature about last year’s politically motivated closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge.
Bridget Anne Kelly, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s former deputy chief of staff and the official who gave the order to cause a massive four-hour traffic jam on the most trafficked bridge in America, has pleaded her Fifth Amendment rights in response to a subpoena from the New Jersey legislative committee investigating the scandal commonly known as Bridgegate.
In a letter to the legislature’s special counsel, Kelly’s attorney asserts the right against self-incrimination and her Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. The letter, The Star-Ledger reports, also notes that it is impossible for Kelly to hand over documents to the legislature because some of the subpoena requests “directly overlap with a parallel federal grand jury investigation being conducted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.”
Christie confirmed Monday night in an hour-long call-in radio show in New Jersey that the grand jury subpoenas were handed out to multiple members of Christie’s office.
Kelly, formerly a major player in Christie’s administration, was fired during Christie’s two-hour press conference last month after correspondence between her and David Wildstein, the former Port Authority official who personally closed down the Fort Lee lanes of the George Washington Bridge, was revealed in a Bergen Record report. Wildstein is also seeking to keep some files private and have his legal fees paid for by the Port Authority. He refuses to speak without being granted prosecutorial immunity, and he was held in contempt for not speaking to the committee at the first hearing on this incident.
Christie’s office fired back at Wildstein’s attorney’s claim that “evidence exists” linking Christie to knowledge of the lane closings, harkening back to their time in high school together for evidence that Wildstein is untrustworthy.
Kelly and Wildstein are two parts of a triumvirate of Christie officials deemed responsible for the lane closings, which, though not confirmed, are believed to be a plot for revenge against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich. Wildstein referred to Sokolich in private correspondence as “the little Serbian.” (Sokolich is Croatian.)
Christie dismissed the third official, former campaign manager Bill Stepien, in the same press conference in which he announced Kelly’s expulsion from the team. Stepien is not only invoking his constitutional rights in his refusal to hand over any documents to the committee, but he is requesting that the subpoena be thrown out entirely.
Read the full letter from Kelly’s attorney to the New Jersey Legislature via the Bergen Record here.