A judge this afternoon denied an appeal by the Select Oversight Committee into the George Washington Bridge lane closures to compel Bill Stepien and Bridget Kelly to go before the investigative committee.
“For the reasons set forth in this opinion, plaintiff’s applications for judgments declaring that defendants have failed, without justification, to produce documents in accordance with the subpoenas are denied, as are plaintiff’s requests for injunctive relief ordering defendants to comply with the subpoenas,” Assignment Judge Mary C. Jacobson wrote. “Plaintiff’s complaints in both actions are dismissed.”
The matter rose out of complaints and orders to show casue filed by the committee as part of its investigation into Bridgegate and two principal players: Stepien, former campaign manager for Gov. Chris Christie; and Kelly, Christie's deputy chief of staff, who wrote, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
The committee had issued subpoenas to Stepien and Kelly, who both maintained their refusal to comply, citing their privilege against self-incrimination and the 4th Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The judge ruled that the breadth of the subpoena was too broad.
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"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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