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Joint Committee To Re-Issue 20 Subpoenas In Traffic Jam Probe

Re-issuing a precautionary measure and no additional subpoenas will be handed out, Assemblyman John Wisniewski said.

New committee, same subpoenas.

The state Legislature’s joint Select Committee on Investigations will re-issue the same 20 subpoenas to Gov. Chris Christie’s top advisors and Port Authority brass that its Assembly predecessor did just more than a week ago, officials said.

The 12-member, bi-cameral committee probing the September lane closures of the George Washington bridge met for the first time just more than an hour after it was created by unanimous votes of both houses.

Chaired by Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, and Sen. Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen, the committee passed without Republican support – all four GOP members voted against the measure, which several had said gives the Democratic co-chairs too much authority and autonomy.

Following the 8-4 vote, Wisniewski said the committee would be re-issuing the same subpoenas as a precautionary measure, since the Assembly committee that had originally issued them no longer exists. No additional subpoenas would be issued, he said, and the date to have documents delivered to the committee would remain Feb. 3.

“We will follow the trail wherever it leads us,’’ Wisniewski said. “Right now, we don’t know where that is. We know we have an email that orders lanes closed on the George Washington bridge that shouldn’t have been ordered. We have our work cut out for us.’’

Wisniewski also said its premature to talk about whether the committee will be calling anyone from Christie’s office for questioning and he would not speculate on where the committee would probe once the documents from the first round of subpoenas come back next month.

Republicans on the committee made an attempt to have the panel’s operating resolution altered, offering a motion to amend it to curb the co-chair’s authority, among other measures. It was blocked by the majority Democrats.

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, following the meeting said that the GOP was merely trying to ensure checks and balances were in place.

“We just want to make sure that this doesn’t go off-track,’’ Bramnick said. “We want to make sure this is a fair hearing.’’

Earlier, Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, R-Monmouth, a member of the select committee, said she would favor a third, Republican, co-chair to “prove that this process is more than a witch hunt.’’

Bramnick would not say whether he agreed with Handlin’s assessment.

The Select Committee has set no date for a future meeting, pending the results of the subpoenas.

Marlboro Mann January 27, 2014 at 04:59 PM
I commend the Democrats for all the efforts they are making in this endeavor. Without Bridgegate, they might be forced to focus on small issues like high taxes, high unemployment, the shooting galleries in Newark and Camden and other major issues such as the bear and deer hunts. Nothing like good old political retribution to pass the cold winter months. I'm sure their former incompetent ex-govs, Corzine, McGreevey, and the undertaker would be proud.
Sean Conneamhe January 27, 2014 at 05:19 PM
"Impeach Christie..."
Sidney Alweis January 27, 2014 at 06:43 PM
I doubt if the people who waited hours to cross the bridge think it was a minor problem.I doubt if the family of the lady who might have died because of Bridgegate think it is a minor problem.I doubt if the possible violation of federal law is a minor problem and I think the possibility of a corrupt governor is not a minor problem either.To be sure, what you mentioned are major problems but so are the ones I mentioned!
Sean Conneamhe January 27, 2014 at 08:18 PM
"The lane closures were a violation of the Interstate Commerce Act and therefore a federal crime..."
Clay Thomas January 28, 2014 at 08:09 AM
Be patient and stay tuned! Each day seems to reveal additional abuses of power and/or attempts to cover up illegal and unethical activities of the Bozo Administration!
M.T. January 28, 2014 at 01:42 PM
Wow the whole production team of the Rachel Maddow Show must come on Fort Lee Patch to comment on these articles. Maybe Teachers Union thugs as well. You guys ever hear of a presumption of innocence? There's no evidence or proof linking this directly to Christie yet, period. You need PROOF before you can impeach or label him "corrupt." You know, proof, that little thing that prosecutors had plenty of when locking up half the Bergen/Hudson/Essex County Democrat machines over the last decade? Look at Operation Bid Rig if you need a lesson in corruption... or joe coniglio, or wayne Bryant, or joe ferriero, or dennis oury, or any of the other countless dems and their organizations in nj that would make Boss Tweed proud. Good move re-issuing the subpoenas though, Senator Weinberg wouldn't want to miss out on all the action and NOT have her name appearing on them. She can finally have her payback for 2009.

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