Christie Allies Get Two-Day Extension On Bridge Scandal Subpoenas

ASSOCIATED PRESS

After hiring attorneys, two allies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will have two more days to comply with subpoenas issued to them as part of the legislative investigation into the growing scandal over lane closures on the George Washington Bridge that caused days of gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J.

Bill Baroni and David Wildstein both resigned from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge, earlier this month amid allegations from Democrats that the lane closures were ordered because Fort Lee’s mayor declined to endorse Christie’s re-election bid. 

Assemblyman John Wisnieswki, who is chairman of New Jersey Assembly Transportation Committee, told TPM he granted Baroni and Wildstein the extension Wednesday to allow the attorneys they recently retained to become familiar with the issue. 

“I certainly recognize that they’ve gotten criminal defense counsel involved and they may need a day or so to get up to speed,” Wisnieswki said.

Wisnieswki said one of the attorneys asked for an extension until Jan. 10, but “that was not going to fly.”

The subpoenas demanded all documents and correspondence between members of the Christie administration and Port Authority officials. In addition to Baroni and Wildstein, subpoenas were sent to five other officials. The other officials did not get an extension and must respond Thursday.

Christie has denied having any involvement in the lane closures. Baroni and Wildstein have said they were the result of a traffic study. 

Wisnieswki said the fact Baroni and Wildstein were employing lawyers and asking for more time was making “a simple issue that much harder.” He added that Baroni and Wildstein should be able to quickly comply with the subpoenas if the closures were indeed the result of a legitimate traffic study.

“If that’s the truth, then just give me the documents,” Wisnieswki said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hunter Walker is a national affairs reporter for TPM. He came to the site in 2013 from the New York Observer. He has also written for New York Magazine, Gawker, the Village Voice, Forbes, The Daily, and Deadspin. He can be reached at hunter@talkingpointsmemo.com

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