Attorney goes back to 19th century in New Jersey bridge scandal argument
March 24th, 2014
01:00 PM ET
9 years ago

Attorney goes back to 19th century in New Jersey bridge scandal argument

(CNN) – Talk about going old school.

To support an argument that the New Jersey select committee on investigation does have the ability to grant someone immunity, the attorney representing Chris Christie’s campaign manager included in dozens of pieces of supportive evidence an article from the New York Times penned in 1895.

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The article is about a legislative committee formed at the end of the 19th century to investigate spending.

It's among more than six dozen court cases, statutes and other documents submitted by attorney Kevin Marino to support his claim that the committee investigating the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge in September does have the power to grant immunity to Bill Stepien, even if he was only asked to submit documents and hasn’t been called to testify.

Stepien is fighting a subpoena requesting emails, text messages and other documents pertaining to the four-day traffic jam in Fort Lee that may have been an act of political retribution targeting the town’s mayor.

Gov. Christie’s former deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly also refused to comply with a subpoena from the committee. Her lawyer filed a similar but shorter supplemental brief on Friday.

Both lawyers provided additional case history to support their arguments that complying with subpoenas for information would be a violation of Stepien’s and Kelly’s 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Reid Schar, the attorney hired by the committee to lead the investigation into who ordered the lane closures and why, asked a judge to enforce the subpoenas. Last week, he submitted additional documents to support his claim that the committee may not have the ability to grant immunity because of the way it was formed. He also said the joint committee is not covered by the statute that would enable it to hold someone in contempt if a person is not compliant.

Emails between key figures in the political scandal revealed Monday suggest the governor's campaign manager was kept in the loop during and after the traffic tie ups. Marino said the messages proved nothing and maintained his client’s innocence.

Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Sniffit

    SSSSSNIIIIIIFFFFFFFFF!!!!! AAAaaaaah...smell the desperation!

    March 24, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |