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Committee Votes to Compel Christie Staffers to Comply with Subpoenas

2-10-14

By Michael Aron
Chief Political Correspondent

The Select Committee is playing hardball with reluctant witnesses Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien.

The legislators voted along party lines to compel the two to comply with earlier subpoenas.

The eight Democrats voted yes. All four Republicans abstained.

“My concern with the broad scope of the subpoenas was something that I was very concerned about and we also know that the U.S. attorney is taking some steps to investigate this matter. So with that going on, I just think it’s appropriate for me to be fully certain that we’re not violating constitutional rights as this thing goes forward, and that’s why I gave the extension today,” Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin said.

The Democrats say that Christie staffers Kelly and Stepien cannot hide behind the Fifth Amendment.

“We came out and passed motions to in turn let both of those folks and their attorneys know that in fact we do not believe they have constitutional grounds to stand on the fifth amendment for the production of documents before that committee,” said Sen. Loretta Weinberg.

“This is a process that we’ve relied upon counsel’s advice to follow that will enable the committee to provide the opportunity for those who are objecting one last shot to provide the documents, and in the failure of that to take appropriate legal steps which I’m not going to get into and discuss what they may be to enforce the subpoenas. So a variation on what we did last time,” said Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

The committee met behind closed doors for more than two hours and will be issuing more subpoenas tonight.

“The committee met in executive session and discussed the issue of additional subpoenas and accordance with the process we went through last time, once those subpoenas are served, we’ll let you know who those subjects were of the subpoenas. But again we don’t want them to find out on the 6 o’clock news. We want them to find out when they receive the subpoenas,” said Wisniewski.

Asked how many new subpoenas are going out, Wisniewski said he believes they number more than a dozen.