New Jersey Democrats on Tuesday announced the merging of the state Assembly and Senate committees tasked with investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures and “other matters raising concerns about the abuse of government power.”
The joint 12-member committee will feature eight Democrats and four Republicans (five Assembly Democrats, three Senate Democrats, three Assembly Republicans and one Senate Republican) and will keep as special counsel former Assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar, who had already been brought in by the Assembly.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D) and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D) will serve as co-chairs.
“This is the optimal approach to ensuring the people of New Jersey get the answers they need to these questions about the abuse of government power,” Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D) said in a statement on Tuesday. “I’m happy we’ve reached an agreement allowing us to proceed forward together. We are also relying strongly on the keen advice of our special counsel to streamline the legislative investigations and make clear to everyone that we expect full cooperation and responsiveness as this inquiry proceeds.”
The 20 subpoenas issued last week by the Assembly committee (before the committee merging) remain pending.