Judge: Christie ex-aides can withhold documents

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Christie

A New Jersey judge ruled Gov. Christie’s ex-aides do not have to produce documents in Bridgegate. (WPIX)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey judge has ruled that two key figures in a political payback scandal ensnaring Gov. Chris Christie’s administration do not have to turn over documents to a legislative investigative panel.

Former Christie loyalists Bridget Kelly and Bill Stepien had been fighting subpoenas calling for them to hand over documents regarding a plot to create traffic jams in Fort Lee to retaliate against the town’s mayor.

Lawyers have asserted the pair’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination due to an ongoing federal investigation into the September traffic jams.

Lawyers for the legislative panel argued that the law does not entitle Kelly and Stepien to blanket protections from subpoenas for documents. They maintain exceptions would have to be argued case-by-case.

The ruling by Judge Mary Jacobson is likely to be appealed.