Stepien invoked 5th Amendment, but Christie campaign says it will comply with subpoenas

TRENTON – Gov. Chris Christie’s former campaign manager may be declining to comply with a legislative subpoena investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closure controversy, but to the extent that lawmakers want to have a look at his campaign correspondences on the matter they’ll have their chance, a campaign attorney said.

Mark Sheridan, the attorney representing Christie’s campaign, told reporters the campaign intends to comply with both legislative and federal subpoenas investigating the GWB controversy. The compliance includes handing over any subpoenaed records sought by both the legislative committee and the U.S. Attorney’s office, he said.

Both investigatory units have subpoenaed the governor’s campaign for documents, which could include correspondences from former campaign manager Bill Stepien.

The campaign would only turn over requested documents that are in its possession, which would include official campaign transmissions – not, for example, emails sent from Stepien’s personal email address.

“We will respond with the documents that are in our possession,” Sheridan said, adding, “To the extent that there are additional documents that are sought that are in his possession, his counsel has indicated in a letter that he is not providing them.”

Stepien was subpoenaed by the state legislative committee investigating the GWB controversy, but has since declined to comply with a subpoena issued by the committee. Stepien invoked his Fifth Amendment rights in response to the legislative investigation.

Sheridan spoke to reporters following a special state Election Law Enforcement Commission meeting in which commissioners voted 2-0 to allow the campaign to be able to use campaign dollars and raise additional funds to pay for costs associated with complying with legislative and federal subpoenas.

“It asked for all employee data that’s in the possession of the campaign, we’re going to request from our employees that they provide that data and to the extent that we get it, we’ll turn it over,” said Sheridan, adding the subpoena affects between 40 and 50 campaign employees.

"This meeting is entirely off the record. Until somebody leaks it."
—Michael Kempner, addressing a roomful of Democratic powerbrokers organizng for Hillary Clinton