Christie, seen as a likely Republican candidate for the White
House in 2016, has denied any involvement in the so-called
"Bridgegate" scandal that is dogging his second term in office.
Assembly Democrats said 20 subpoenas had gone out seeking
information related to the September traffic snarl, created by the
abrupt closing of access lanes to the busy George Washington Bridge,
which spans the Hudson River connecting New York and New Jersey.
Among those receiving subpoenas were Christie spokesmen Michael
Drewniak and Colin Reed, communications director Maria Comella, the
governor's incoming chief of staff Regina Egea, and Christie's
former campaign manager Bill Stepien.
The list also includes David Samson, chairman of the Port Authority
of New York and New Jersey, as well as Bill Baroni and David
Wildstein, two former Port Authority officials who have resigned.
Two batches of emails between top Christie aides and officials at
the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees the
bridge, appeared to show the lane closures were orchestrated to
punish Fort Lee's Democratic mayor for not endorsing Governor
Christie's re-election bid last year.
Four days of hours-long jams left commuters fuming, and delayed
school buses and emergency vehicles.
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Nothing in the emails suggests that Christie had any direct
knowledge of the plan to close the lanes. Christie has described
himself as devastated and "blindsided" by his aides' actions.
Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye, who ordered the
lanes reopened, said in publicly released emails that he believed
the closings violated state and federal law. New Jersey's federal
prosecutor has opened an investigation into the matter.
A New Jersey state Senate panel is likely to issue subpoenas next
week as part of its own investigation.
"We're going to try to work together," said State Senator Loretta
On Thursday, the Christie administration, which says it is
cooperating fully with the probes, hired outside legal counsel.
(Editing by Gunna Dickson)
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