Former Christie aide fights subpoena in court
March 11th, 2014
05:40 PM ET
9 years ago

Former Christie aide fights subpoena in court

Updated 6:17 p.m. ET, 3/11/2014

Trenton, New Jersey (CNN) - A former top aide to Chris Christie was in court on Tuesday to fight a subpoena from a state legislative committee investigating a political scandal roiling the New Jersey governor's administration.

It was Bridget Anne Kelly's first public appearance since losing her job in January over suggestions top Christie appointees orchestrated traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee last year to punish that town's mayor for not backing their boss for reelection.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'] [twitter-follow screen_name='SKastenbaum']

Kelly, 42, dressed in a black blazer and pearl necklace, listened closely while seated at her attorney's table during a hearing at Mercer County Superior Court in Trenton.

She did not speak during the proceeding that lasted more than three hours nor did she comment to reporters later.

Kelly, a former Christie deputy chief of staff, and the governor's former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, are fighting the request from a special legislative panel to turn over texts, emails and other documents related to its investigation of the traffic controversy.

The scandal has called into question Christie's forceful governing style and clouded prospects for a potential Republican presidential candidacy in 2016.

Lawyers for Kelly and Stepien argued their clients' innocence and contended that turning over documents would infringe on their constitutional rights to remain silent, which they previously invoked.

Neither has been charged with any wrongdoing.

Reid Schar, special counsel for the legislative panel, told Judge Mary Jacobson that its subpoenas are narrow.

The requests for information is limited to traffic jams last September caused by the closure of two bridge access lanes in Fort Lee, he said.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the co-chair of the investigative panel, said it had recently received other documents that lead the committee to believe Kelly and Stepien have important information.

"We've been receiving documents which have included emails from other people and some of those intersect with some of the material we already have as well as provide additional material," said Wisniewski. "So it's safe to say that there are additional emails that have Bridget Kelly's name on it. But I'm not going to get into the quantity."

He also did not provide any details about what those emails said.

Jacobson gave lawyers more time to file briefs in the case and was not expected to rule until month's end.

Kelly was thrust into the spotlight in January when texts that she exchanged with a top Christie appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the nation's busiest bridge, raised the issue of traffic jams weeks before they occurred.

The U.S. Attorney's office is also investigating the matter.

CNN's Chris Frates contributed to this story.

Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Al-NY,NY

    if she invokes her 5th amendment rights (as she is perfectly allowed to), what is the difference with her doing as opposed to Lerner doing the same in the IRS investigation? Righties???? the same??? different? If there's a coverup in Issa's investigation of the IRS and Lerner says I take the 5th, and Kelly says the same in the GWB investigation....what's the difference?

    March 11, 2014 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. budwhite451

    Steve you'll be lucky if anyone reads this...

    March 11, 2014 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Pander Bear

    I can't tell the truth because then you'll find out what a liar I am.

    March 11, 2014 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. budwhite451

    I got a feeling the subpoenas will be quashed.

    March 11, 2014 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  5. budwhite451

    I think Bridget Anne Kelly is definitely a scapegoat for Chris Christie.

    March 11, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. Grahame Rhodes

    Don't worry when this is over she will get a six figure salary as a payoff for taking the blame

    March 11, 2014 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    Any other scandal starring the NJ gov and this woman?

    March 11, 2014 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  8. Ol' Yeller

    She didn't fall on her sword... she was thrown to the wolves with Stepian while christy made his escape.
    Who takes the first best deal from the Prosecutors?
    Is the prize of christy's head on a platter worth it?
    stay tuned....

    March 11, 2014 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  9. Minnie Mouse

    She was fired over the bridge scandal, so she obviously knows something. She definitely had some form of involvement and she needs to speak up so the truth can come out, to know who was responsible or at least what exactly happened. I can't her getting out of this at all.

    March 12, 2014 06:56 am at 6:56 am |