New York (AFP) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s re-election campaign and the state’s Republican Party committee have been served subpoenas from federal prosecutors investigating a scandal over the deliberate shutdown of a key bridge to spite a political rival, an attorney confirmed Thursday.
“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 New Jersey, Mark D. Sheridan, a lawyer with the law firm representing the two entities, told AFP Thursday.
These latest subpoenas come “in addition to the subpoena the campaign previously received from the state legislative committee,” which is conducting a parallel investigation, Sheridan said.
“All three subpoenas focus on the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge,” he said.
Christie, regarded as a frontrunner for the Republican presidential campaign in 2016, has been on the defensive since it emerged his office was behind the shutting down of lanes on the George Washington Bridge in September.
The closures were apparently meant to punish a mayor who refused to endorse Christie’s successful reelection bid.
Christie maintains he had been unaware of any political motive behind the action.
After the scandal emerged, he quickly sacked a senior assistant.
“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,” Sheridan said.
Some twenty people and entities last week received subpoenas from the committee.
Adding to Christie’s woes, the Democratic mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, Dawn Zimmer, accused New Jersey’s lieutenant governor over the weekend of threatening to withhold money for Hurricane Sandy relief from her Democratic stronghold city unless she approved a redevelopment plan which Christie supported.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno has categorically denied the accusations.
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