TRENTON, NJ (TIP): Federal prosecutors in New Jersey conducting a preliminary inquiry into accusations that aides to Gov. Chris Christie shut down access lanes to the George Washington Bridge as political retribution have issued grand jury subpoenas to Mr. Christie’s re-election campaign and to the state Republican Party, the lawyer for the campaign and the party said Thursday.
A person briefed on the matter said the prosecutors had also issued grand jury subpoenas to a number of the 20 people and entities – including both potential witnesses and people who have come under scrutiny in the inquiry – that received subpoenas last week from a New Jersey legislative committee whose investigation largely parallels the federal inquiry.
“We can confirm that the Christie for Governor reelection campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee received subpoenas for documents from the U.S. Attorney’s office, in addition to the subpoena the campaign previously received from the state legislative committee,” the lawyer, Mark D. Sheridan, said in an email. Mr. Sheridan is representing the campaign along with Robert D. Luskin; both men are partners at Patton Boggs. Mr. Sheridan said that all three subpoenas focus on the closing of lanes on the George Washington Bridge.
“The campaign and the state party intend to cooperate with the U.S. attorney’s office and the state legislative committee and will respond to the subpoenas accordingly,” Mr. Sheridan said. The inquiry by the office of Paul Fishman, the United States attorney in Newark, was confirmed earlier this month. The office said at the time that it would seek to determine whether any federal laws had been broken. The subpoenas issued this week show that prosecutors have begun taking the necessary basic steps to answer that question.A spokeswoman for Mr. Fishman’s office said Thursday, January 22 afternoon that she could neither confirm nor deny whether any specific investigative steps had been taken.