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17 Christie allies ordered to turn over documents in bridge scandal

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's office, 17 of his allies and two other organizations have been ordered to turn over documents to a special committee investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal, state lawmakers revealed Friday.

The list includes Bridget Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, who sent an email in August — "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" — that appeared to set in motion the closing of two access lanes to the bridge in September. The resulting traffic jam gridlocked the city of Fort Lee, enraged drivers and slowed emergency vehicles.


The traffic jam began Sept. 9 and ended four days later, when the head of the Port Authority, which controls the bridge, ordered the lanes reopened. Christie fired her last week, after the email became public.

The list also includes Kevin O'Dowd, the governor's chief of staff; Charles McKenna, his top legal counsel; Matt Mowers, a former campaign aide who is now executive director of the New Hampshire Republican Party; and David Samson, Christie's handpicked chairman of the Port Authority. Samson is a former state attorney general.

The subpoenas served to the Christie allies — current and former aides and appointees, as well as his campaign office — ask for all notes, emails, text messages, voice mails and other documents pertaining to the lane closing from Sept. 1 through Friday.

Among the other names on the subpoena list released Friday were Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, two Christie appointees at the Port Authority who resigned in December; Bill Stepien, his two-time campaign manager; and both Michael Drewniak, his top spokesman, and Drewniak's wife, Nicole Davidman Drewniak, a campaign fundraiser.

Christie has denied any knowledge of a plan to close the lanes as an act of payback. The chairman of the special investigative committee said Thursday that the governor himself would not receive a subpoena, at least for now.


Christie's office had no immediate comment. It has hired a legal team led by Randy Mastro, a onetime federal prosecutor and top aide to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani with a reputation as a legal bulldog.

Besides the Assembly's, inquiries or investigations have been launched by the Port Authority, the state Senate, the U.S. Senate Transportation Committee and the U.S. attorney in New Jersey. Christie's office has said it will cooperate with all "appropriate" investigations.

M. Alex Johnson of NBC News contributed to this report.

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