TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Twenty people and organizations close to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are due to turn over emails, text messages and other documents involving an apparent vindictive plot to block traffic near the George Washington Bridge, though almost all the subpoena recipients have requested more time.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the co-chairman of the joint legislative panel leading the investigation, told The Associated Press that some extensions of Monday's deadline were granted. The requests of others who were asked to produce documents on a rolling basis were also being considered.
The subpoena returns are likely to be voluminous, as the committee seeks to unravel how high up Christie's chain of command the order to shut traffic lanes went, whether the operation was meant to punish a Democratic adversary, and if so, why?
Christie has denied knowing about the planning or execution of the operation, and has said he learned that members of his inner circle were involved after an original batch of subpoenaed documents was published on Jan. 8. However, one former loyalist, David Wildstein, indicated Friday there was contradictory evidence to show that the governor knew about the closings as they were happening.
Five people close to the Republican governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate have been fired or resigned amid the scandal, including Wildstein, who is seeking immunity from prosecution. The AP on Sunday confirmed the most recent resignation, that of Christina Genovese Renna, on Friday. Renna is among those subpoenaed by the legislative panel. She worked directly under Bridget Kelly, the fired deputy chief of staff who set in motion the lane closings with an email to Wildstein saying, "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee."
Fellow Republicans, meanwhile, remained adamant that Christie should not resign from his post as chairman of the Republican Governors Association following Wildstein's latest claim, for which he has so far produced no evidence.