Subpoenas To Hit A Wide Array Of Christie Allies And Aides

Updated: January 17, 2014, 6:05 PM

Several close aides to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), along with his campaign, are among those who reportedly are receiving subpoenas in the latest round of the investigation into the George Washington Bridge scandal.

Multiple media outlets on Friday reported the names of 15 of at least 20 people and organizations that are being subpoenaed by a pair of special legislative committees that have been set up to investigate the scandal.

Politicker NJ and CNN reported that subpoenas were going to the governor’s top spokesman, Michael Drewniak, his wife, Nicole Davidman Drewniak, who is an influential Christie fundraiser. The chief counsel in the governor’s office, Charles Mckenna, as well as Christie’s communications director, Maria Comella, and spokesman Colin Reed, were also on the list.

Another Christie staffer reportedly being subpoenaed by the committee is the governor’s chief of staff, Kevin O’Dowd. The governor nominated O’Dowd to be the state’s attorney general, but the nomination was put on hold due to the ongoing investigation into lane closures on the bridge, which some Democrats have alleged were designed to tie up traffic in the town of Fort Lee, N.J. in retaliation against a mayor. Regina Egea, an aide who was initially tapped to replace O’Dowd as chief of staff, also reportedly was issued a subpoena.

Subpoenas were also issued to the two aides Christie fired amid the scandal: Bridget Ann Kelly and Bill Stepien. Kelly was Christie’s former deputy chief of staff for legislative and intergovernmental affairs and wrote an infamous email declaring, “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Stepien was Christie’s former campaign manager.

On Thursday, Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D), who is leading his chamber’s investigation of the scandal, announced subpoenas would be issued to 17 people and three “organizations.”

After that announcement, NBC News reported Christie’s re-election campaign was one of the organizations targeted by the Assembly. Politicker NJ then reported further details about thirteen of the individuals who were subpoenaed by the Assembly.

The Assembly also will reportedly be issuing subpoenas to three people who worked at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the bridge, during the closures. That includes Bill Baroni, a Christie appointee to the Port Authority who resigned last month; Port Authority Chairman David Samson, another Christie appointee; and Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye, who was appointed to the interstate agency by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and ordered the lanes to be re-opened in September.

In addition to the Assembly committee, the state Senate has also established a special committee to investigate the closures. That committee is chaired by Senator Loretta Weinberg (D). On Thursday evening, Weinberg told TPM her committee has issued subpoenas to three officials, two of which were also subpoenaed by the Assembly. Weinberg said the Senate committee issued subpoenas to Egea, Samson, and Port Authority Commissioner commissioner William “Pat” Schuber.

On Monday, TPM first reported Weinberg sent a letter to Schuber six days after the closures, demanding an explanation for them. Weinberg said she did not receive a response and that Christie was copied on the letter. Weinberg said she believes Christie, who has said he was initially was unaware of the closures, would have been informed about her letter.

Update: The NJ General Assembly released a full list of the individuals and organizations that were served with subpoenas Friday evening. Foye was not served with a subpoena.

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