Ex-Christie Aide Fights Order to Give Up Records
A former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says in legal papers that there’s a “real and substantial threat” of self-incrimination if she gives state lawmakers records they have requested from her as they look into a political payback scandal involving Christie’s office.
In a court filing made public Friday, Bridget Anne Kelly’s lawyers say federal authorities have requested interviews with Kelly, her parents, her ex-husband and former in-laws. The lawyers say none of them has been willing to talk.
Christie fired Kelly in January after her text message saying “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” was made public.
The court documents are similar to those filed earlier this week on behalf of Christie’s former campaign manager, Bill Stepien. Both are fighting efforts by a special legislative investigative committee to force them to hand over more documents about the September closure of approach lanes to the George Washington Bridge. The lane closures, apparently done for political payback, caused massive traffic jams in the town of Fort Lee, and have become a distraction for Christie, a possible contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Like Stepien, Kelly is relying largely on her right not to incriminate herself by giving information to the lawmakers.
To do that, her lawyer, Michael Critchley, is asserting that she could be subject to a criminal prosecution. Critchley argues in the court filing that the right not to self-incriminate extends to documents as well as testimony, and that even confirming whether certain documents exist could subject her to prosecution.
A hearing on the case of both Kelly and Stepien is scheduled for Tuesday.
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