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Lawmakers subpoena Christie political strategist

The investigative committee on Wednesday announced that Michael DuHaime has been subpoenaed.

By Geoff Mulvihill
The Associated Press

5/7/2014

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political strategist is the latest person to receive a subpoena from a legislative committee probing politically motivated lane closures near the George Washington Bridge.

The investigative committee on Wednesday announced that Michael DuHaime has been subpoenaed. DuHaime has been ordered to produce documents but has not been told to appear before the committee. His lawyer, Marc Mukasey, said DuHaime would comply, although he has questions about the motivation for the Monday request.

"He was not involved in the decisions around the lane closures as has been well established at this point," Mukasey said in a statement he read. "That simple fact plus the fact that Mike offered to appear without need of a subpoena gives us great concern that this is really about politics and the chairman's political future..."

Committee chairs Sen. Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, both Democrats, said in a statement that the committee "will follow the facts to get the truth so that the people of New Jersey get the answers they deserve."

DuHaime provided information and granted an interview — without being subpoenaed — to a law firm that released a report in March on behalf of the governor's office. The report concluded that neither the Republican governor nor his top staff was involved with the September lane closings that caused huge traffic jams.

Mukasey would not say whether DuHaime has previously cooperated with other investigations. The U.S. Attorney's Office is also looking into the September lane closures. No one has been charged with any crimes.

DuHaime told the firm that worked for the governor that DuHaime had several conversations months after the lane closures with David Wildstein, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official who ordered them. DuHaime said that in November or December, Wildstein told him that a Christie aide and a campaign manager had advance knowledge the lanes would be closed. Christie fired the aide — Bridget Kelly — and cut ties with campaign manager Bill Stepien in January.

Kelly and Stepien have both invoked their 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and not complied with subpoenas from the legislative panel. Wildstein has provided the committee with requested documents but has refused to answer questions when he appeared before it, also citing his right not to incriminate himself.

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