Bridgegate grows as more Christie staff emails are released

NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) - New emails have emerged showing that Bill Stepien, Governor Chris Christie’s former campaign manager, and Bridget Kelly, his now-fired deputy chief of staff, having more communication than previously indicated regarding the now infamous George Washington Bridge lane closure and the havoc it caused in Fort Lee last September.

Assemblyman John Wisniewski’s take? “The haystack is getting bigger.”

Wisniewski is co-spearheading a legislative committee investigating the Bridgegate scandal.  He categorizes his task as bigger than expected as a result of new names emerging  in emails. One of those names happens to be Governor Christie’s closest confidants, “Mike DuHaime is always referred to as one of the Governor’s chief political advisers.”

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The emails were released as part of the investigative committee’s efforts to require Stepien and Kelly to turnover emails and texts.  Wisniewski says the cooperation by some who have been subpoenaed, which includes the office of the Governor, has been challenging and unproductive, “In asking the questions we have in getting to that answer, we have gotten thousands of pages of documents, some of which are press clippings, some of which are  absolutely unrelated to the topic at hand.”

What Wisniewski finds striking is how involved the Governor’s staff was in crisis communications efforts when the Port Authority has its own media relations team, “Certainly not something you would look at as a text book example of how to separate your political operation from your governmental operation.”

One of the key points to remember is that at the core of all this are taxpayers dollars, “Certainly the people who work for the Governor in the governmental capacity are being funded by the taxpayer.”

As for the potential of a new round of subpoenas, including some of the new people mentioned?

Wisniewski says, “We will be looking at these documents to understand who do we need to ask questions of next.”