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Subpoenas Issued To Chris Christie's Campaign Office

5:38 PM, Jan 23, 2014   |    comments
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Bob Jordan, Asbury Park (N.J.) Press

TRENTON, N.J. - The U.S. Attorney's Office in New Jersey has issued subpoenas to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's campaign and to the state Republican Party ordering them to turn over documents related to the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

Christie says he was not involved in the plot to close the lanes in September, which has been dubbed "Bridgegate." He fired his deputy chief of staff and campaign manager because of their involvement and said he will cooperate in "appropriate" investigations.

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The closures to the bridge that spans the Hudson River between New Jersey and New York created traffic nightmares in Fort Lee, N.J., a town where the Democratic mayor had declined to endorse Christie's re-election. The gridlock occurred over four days in early September, including the first day of school.

Last week, an Assembly committee issued 20 subpoenas to 17 individuals and three institutions. Some of the recipients include key members of Christie's administration and campaign, ranging from his spokesman to his chief counsel.

The attorney for Christie's campaign and the state Republican Party, Mark Sheridan from the Patton Boggs law firm, said they "intend to cooperate.''

Rebekah Carmichael, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said, "Our office can neither confirm nor deny taking specific investigative actions.''

Sheridan in a statement said: "Patton Boggs has been retained to represent the Christie for Governor re-election campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee in connection with investigations being conducted by the US Attorney's Office and the legislative committee. We can confirm that the Christie for Governor re-election campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee received subpoenas for documents from the U.S. Attorney's office, in addition to the subpoena the campaign previously received from the state legislative committee. All three subpoenas focus on the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge. The campaign and the state party intend to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's office and the state legislative committee and will respond to the subpoenas accordingly."

In a USA TODAY/Pew Research Center poll out Monday, most Americans following "Bridgegate" do not believe Christie was unaware his aides caused a traffic jam for political payback.

Nearly three-quarters of those interviewed said they are aware of the scandal involving the Republican governor's aides. Of those who are aware of the issue, 58% said they did not believe Christie's denials that he knew of the plan. Just under one-third, 32%, said they believed the governor was unaware of his aides' actions.

Christie had dismissed questions about the September traffic jams until Jan. 9, when - after e-mails were released that revealed his aides discussing the lane closings - he held a two-hour news conference and said he was "blindsided" by the news.

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