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Records from Christie review to be subpoenaed

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie addresses a crowd in this photo provided by the Associated Press.
May 5, 2014 9:39:26 AM PDT
The man leading the New Jersey Legislature's investigation of Gov. Chris Christie and the George Washington Bridge lane-closure scandal is going to seek subpoenas for the documents, notes and recordings compiled by the lawyers who ran the controversial internal probe of the governor and his conduct, ABC News has learned.

Among the records being sought would be notes and any recordings of private interviews with Christie himself as well as records obtained as part of the lawyers' reviews of the governor's work and personal email and text message accounts. Notes and recordings of some 70 interviews were not released with the report Thursday.

"I will be asking the committee to subpoena the interview notes and recordings," Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Central Jersey Democrat, told ABC News Sunday morning.

Wisniewski's request is tantamount to a decision to issue the subpoenas. While he does not have the authority to issue subpoenas on his own, the Democrat-controlled committee he leads has gone along with every single one of his subpoena recommendations. Such a request from him is essentially a foregone conclusion.

Shortly after appearing on This Week Sunday, Wisniewski said he is hoping to call the joint Senate-Assembly committee back into session in the coming days.

When results of the internal review were issued Thursday, the attorney who led the effort, Randy Mastro, told reporters "we would continue to cooperate with investigations." Mastro also said that Christie had not waived attorney-client privilege.

The U.S. attorney's office has launched a criminal investigation into the scheme, which created gridlock in Fort Lee, the town at the base of the George Washington Bridge, to retaliate against its Democratic mayor for an unknown transgression.

A parallel investigation by a state legislative panel is trying to find out how high up Christie's chain of command the order to shut traffic lanes went, and why.

Federal investigators are also looking into an allegation that Christie cabinet members threatened to withhold storm recovery funds from a flooded city if the mayor did not approve a favored redevelopment project.

Mastro's taxpayer-funded report concluded "there is not a shred of evidence" the governor knew what aides Bridget Kelly in the governor's office and David Wildstein at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that runs the bridge, were plotting.

The report pins blame for the plot on Kelly and Wildstein - as Christie had done previously - and says a political motive is apparent. The report also concluded that allegations by Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer that Superstorm Sandy aid was being held hostage to a redevelopment deal are "demonstrably false."

Democrats immediately blasted the findings, with the party's national committee calling the report "nothing more than an expensive sham." New Jersey state Sen. Loretta Weinberg, co-chair of the legislative committee investigating the same issues, said it "raises more questions than answers." Zimmer called the report "sadly predictable" and a "one-sided whitewash."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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