New Jersey Governor Chris Christie speaks after his swearing in ceremony inside of the Patriots Theater at the War Memorial in Trenton, New Jersey January 21, 2014.
Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Christie’s bridge scandal generates new federal subpoenas

The Christie administration’s scandal involving Sandy aid in Hoboken has clearly intensified in recent days, with the U.S. Attorney’s office and FBI agents interviewing multiple witnesses and collecting relevant materials. The allegations are obviously quite serious and the investigation appears to be moving very quickly.
But this does not mean the Christie administration’s bridge scandal has become any less serious. On the contrary; today federal law enforcement took the next step in the investigation into the original controversy surrounding the New Jersey governor’s team.
The U.S. Attorney for New Jersey has issued a subpoena for documents to both the Christie for Governor re-election campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee, an attorney for both organizations confirmed today.
According to attorney Mark Sheridan, the subpoenas request documents from the two organizations in relation to the investigation into lane diversions at the George Washington Bridge in September.
These new federal subpoenas come on top of the subpoenas from state lawmakers last week.
Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) re-election campaign has hired a powerhouse DC law firm, Patton Boggs, to represent its legal interests.
Of particular interest, Christie’s campaign’s legal team will be led in part by Bob Luskin, perhaps best known in political circles for having represented Karl Rove during the Plame scandal. Rove narrowly avoided criminal charges after he helped leak the name of an undercover CIA official as part of a Bush White House scheme to punish the official’s husband.
As for why Christie’s re-election campaign would have anything to do with the investigation into the bridge scandal, Bill Stepien, who’s since been cut loose by the governor, was the governor’s campaign manager and available materials suggest he may have been aware of the Fort Lee scheme.
Stepien, who was supposed to play a major role in Christie’s national campaign, is already out at the Republican Governors Association, and he lawyered up last week.
It’s very likely Rachel will have more on today’s developments on tonight’s show.
UPDATE: Related video:
The Rachel Maddow Show, 1/23/14, 10:51 PM ET

New Jersey scandals escalate to federal level

Shawn Boburg, reporter for the Record of Bergen County, talks with Rachel Maddow about the implications of federal subpoenas served in New Jersey.

Chris Christie and New Jersey

Christie's bridge scandal generates new federal subpoenas