Bridgegate Investigators Gave Christie's Lawyers An Ultimatum
Chris Christie's lawyers with the firm of Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher may be getting a subpoena if they don't turn over documentation to the New Jersey Legislature's committee dedicated to investigating last September's lane closures on the George Washington Bridge. A source in the State House said that, after meeting in closed session Friday, the committee gave the attorneys hired by the governor's office a Friday deadline to hand over lists of the people they interviewed, any notes on the interviews, and other documents they viewed while conducting the internal review of the so-called "Bridgegate" scandal that was released last month.
If Gibson Dunn does not turn over the requested documents, the source said the firm will be subpoenaed by the committee. Gibson Dunn attorney Randy Mastro said his team looks forward to continuing a "cooperative dialogue" with the Legislature's investigators in a statement Tuesday evening.
"We reached out to counsel for the committee over a week ago to discuss sharing voluntarily the interview memoranda regarding the lane realignment upon which our report was partially based. In light of the committee's statements this afternoon, we will look forward to continuing that cooperative dialogue," Mastro said.
The lane closures led to several days of gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J. Some Democrats have suggested the lanes were shut to retaliate against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for declining to endorse Christie's re-election bid last year.
At its meeting Tuesday, the source said the committee also discussed other subpoenas it may send out. So far, the committee has sent over 30 subpoenas to individuals and organizations including Christie's office, his campaign organization, and several of his close aides. There are 12 members of the Legislature on the committee including eight Democrats and four Republicans. It is co-chaired by two Democrats: Assemblyman John Wisniewski and State Senator Loretta Weinberg. Bridgegate is also being investigated by the U.S. Attorney in New Jersey.
The State House source who spoke to Business Insider said the Bridgegate committee wants to know who Gibson Dunn spoke while conducting their internal review. According to the report, the attorneys conducted conducted "interviews with more than 70 witnesses," though they were not all named. Gibson Dunn's report found Christie "did not know of the lane realignment beforehand and had no involvement in the decision to realign the lanes."