At issue is the role of the governor, his staff and political
allies in the closing of lanes leading to the George Washington
Bridge and the huge traffic jams that resulted.
The calls for a continued legislative investigation came a day after
more than 1,000 pages of papers subpoenaed by state lawmakers were
The papers relate to revelations that a member of Christie's staff
appeared to have orchestrated the traffic jams, which severely
affected the town of Fort Lee over four days in September, in what
may have been political payback because the town's Democratic mayor
did not endorse Christie's re-election.
Christie, a powerful figure in the Republican Party and a likely
contender for the White House in 2016, has adamantly denied any
knowledge of a scheme to snarl traffic.
"The documents released this week related to the George Washington
Bridge situation clearly show the need for a continued thorough
investigation by the New Jersey General Assembly," Assembly
Speaker-elect Vincent Prieto said in a statement.
"Many questions remain unanswered about this threat to public safety
and abuse of power," he said. "I expect to call the Assembly into
special session on Thursday to consider legislation that would
reauthorize subpoena power so this investigation can continue."
Prieto is set to take the oath as speaker this coming week.
On Thursday, Christie apologized for the traffic jams and said he
had fired a top aide, Bridget Kelly, and severed political ties with
his former campaign manager after emails surfaced that seemed to
link them to the scandal.
Two of Christie's appointees at the Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey, the bi-state agency that oversees the bridge and other
transportation facilities in the region, have resigned over
controversy arising from the closures.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democrat and chairman of the Assembly
Transportation Committee, told CNN on Saturday he would on Monday
ask Christie and his staff to hand over more correspondence and
documents related to the bridge scandal.
"There's still a lot of documents we haven't gotten we'd like to
see," Wisniewski told CNN.
Wisniewski told CNN no evidence or documents have surfaced that link
Christie to the lane closures, but he said the committee was probing
whether anyone else in the governor's office might have been
"Our investigation would be made immeasurably simpler if the
governor's office would say, 'Please tell us what you'd like, we'll
turn over all of those documents, the governmental emails, the
personal emails, the correspondence, so that you can look at them
and determine for yourself,'" Wisniewski told CNN.
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LEFT TO PROSECUTORS
A representative of the governor did not respond to requests for
comment on Saturday.
Wisniewski on Friday said the documents released that day raised
more questions than they answered about whether Christie knew about
the traffic tie-up, and in particular he pointed to a reference to a
potential meeting between Port Authority Chairman David Samson and
Christie one week before the jam.
The documents show chaos and anger but fail to clear up whether the
epic tie-up was the result of what Christie said may have been a
Port Authority traffic study.
The hastily called closure of three local access lanes leading to
the bridge slowed school buses and emergency workers, as well as
Wisniewski said he believes laws were broken but said any decision
to bring criminal charges would depend on prosecutors.
U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman, whose job Christie held
before being elected governor, has opened an investigation into the
decision to close the lanes to the bridge.
Documents previously released show Kelly emailed Port Authority
executive David Wildstein in August to say, "Time for some traffic
problems in Fort Lee." Wildstein, a Christie appointee, replied:
Kelly could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
Wildstein has admitted to ordering lane closures and resigned his
post. He declined to answer questions in an appearance before the
Transportation Committee on Thursday, invoking his constitutional
protection not to say anything that might incriminate him.
(Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg;
editing by Alex Dobuzinskis, Nick Zieminski and Steve Orlofsky)
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