TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie’s former campaign manager may be declining to comply with a legislative subpoena investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closure controversy, but to the extent that lawmakers want to have a look at his campaign correspondences on the matter they’ll have their chance, a campaign attorney said.
Mark Sheridan, the attorney representing Christie’s campaign, told reporters the campaign intends to comply with both legislative and federal subpoenas investigating the GWB controversy. The compliance includes handing over any subpoenaed records sought by both the legislative committee and the U.S. Attorney’s office, he said.
Both investigatory units have subpoenaed the governor’s campaign for documents, which could include correspondences from former campaign manager Bill Stepien.
The campaign would only turn over requested documents that are in its possession, which would include official campaign transmissions – not, for example, emails sent from Stepien’s personal email address.
“We will respond with the documents that are in our possession,” Sheridan said, adding, “To the extent that there are additional documents that are sought that are in his possession, his counsel has indicated in a letter that he is not providing them.”
Stepien was subpoenaed by the state legislative committee investigating the GWB controversy, but has since declined to comply with a subpoena issued by the committee. Stepien invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in response to the legislative investigation.
Sheridan spoke to reporters following a special state Election Law Enforcement Commission meeting in which commissioners voted 2-0 to allow the campaign to be able to use campaign dollars and raise additional funds to pay for costs associated with complying with legislative and federal subpoenas.
“It asked for all employee data that’s in the possession of the campaign, we’re going to request from our employees that they provide that data and to the extent that we get it, we’ll turn it over,” said Sheridan, adding the subpoena affects between 40 and 50 campaign employees.
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"Enlisting Fox is another reminder of how much Christie has truly relied on insiders, including Democrats, to bolster his agenda or bail him out of trouble. Not long after arriving in Trenton in 2009, Christie began collaborating with George Norcross, the deeply entrenched Democratic Party kingmaker, to help him cut deals with a Democratic-controlled Legislature.
When his close ally David Samson resigned as chairman of the Port Authority over conflict-of-interest questions earlier this year, Christie replaced Samson with John Degnan, a pillar of the Democratic Party establishment. And now, confronted with a crisis, Christie has turned to “Jamie,’’ as Fox has been known throughout political circles since he began as an aide in the Democratic Senate in the 1980s." - columnist Charles Stile
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