Chris Christie is not yet out of the woods in regard to the “Bridgegate” scandal, i.e., the closure of several lanes in Fort Lee, New Jersey to the George Washington Bridge, creating horrendous traffic jams after Mayor Mark Sokolich declined to endorse Christie’s reelection bid in 2013.
The state legislative panel investigating the lane closures had subpoenaed all communications between former Christie aide Regina Egea and her boss at the time, but were unsatisfied when she produced only two text messages for the time period requested. When she told them that she “may have deleted” other messages, the panel issued a subpoena for the logs of all of her calls and texts incoming and outgoing for the month of December 2013 from AT&T.
“This is the one and only time the head of the authorities unit texted the governor about Bridgegate?” state Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Teaneck asked. “It just doesn’t sound very forthcoming.”
Assemblyman John Wisniewski of Sayreville, a Democrat who co-chairs the panel with Weinberg, said that although the panel had requested all communications with the governor’s office from the time period during which David Wildstein (a Christie loyalist) ordered the lane closures, the governor’s office had produced only two emails involving the governor. Those were in relation to a statement issued concerning Wildstein’s resignation.
“For someone who quite visibly uses his hand-held device to communicate, it’s remarkable to have only those two communications,” Wisniewski said.
Egea told the panel that she recalled sending one text to the governor commenting on the “professional” way in which the Port Authority employees appeared to conduct themselves in their testimony but that she believed it may have been erased, reminiscent of the missing 18 minutes in the Nixon tapes.
AT&T has not commented on whether or not they will comply with the subpoena without a search warrant and questions have been raised about the panel’s legal authority to issue such a subpoena.
The governor’s office has also declined to comment on the subpoena. State Senator Kevin O’Toole, a Republican from Cedar Grove who has been a staunch defender of the governor, has not spoken about the move either.
Wisniewski has said that for the time being the panel will hear no more testimony, although they have a list of 13 more potential witnesses, at the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey which is conducting it’s own investigation of the incident.
See a report on the subpoena in the video below.