Talk about being tardy.
Only four Port Authority officials met Monday’s deadline to hand over subpoenaed documents to state lawmakers investigating a traffic scandal that is threatening New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s political future.
The other 16 who were served subpoenas have either been given an extension or are turning over related material documents “on a rolling basis,” a source close to the investigation told NBC News. That includes Gov. Christie’s office, his campaign committee and his press secretary.
So far, two individuals who have been subpoenaed – former campaign manager Bill Stepien and Christie’s former deputy chief of staff Bridget Kelly – have cited their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and are refusing to turn over information.
Kelly was fired by Christie after it was made public that she told a Port Authority official that it was “time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee.” Stepien was a close adviser to Christie, but the governor cut ties after his alleged role in the lane closures surfaced.
Subpoenaed documents were delivered from William Baroni, the former deputy executive director of Port Authority; Christina Lado, the director for government and community affairs at Port Authority; Philippe Danielides, senior adviser to Samson; and Paul Nunziato, the Policeman’s Benevolent Association president of Port Authority.
Others who have yet to turn over information include David Samson, chairman at the Port Authority and a Christie adviser; Charles McKenna, the governor’s chief counsel; Regina Egea, Christie’s incoming chief-of staff, Nicole Davidman Drewniak, the wife of Christie’s spokesman and fundraiser for Christie’s gubernatorial campaign; and Kevin O’Dowd, Christie’s chief of staff and nominee to be attorney general.
On Monday evening, Christie repeated his claim that he did not know about his staffers’ plan in September to cause a crippling traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge back in September, seemingly for political payback against a local Democratic mayor.
“The most important issue is, did I know anything about the plan to close these lanes? Did I authorize it, did I know about it, did I approve it — did I have any knowledge about it beforehand?” Christie said during a “Ask the Governor” interview on WKXW radio in New Jersey. “And the answer is still the same: it’s unequivocally no.”
Christie also acknowledged that his office had been subpoenaed by the U.S. attorney’s office and said that his administration would fully cooperate.
Meanwhile, a lawyer for David Wildstein, former Port Authority Director of Interstate Capital Projects, said “evidence exists tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.” Wildstein has yet to make his claimed evidence public.