Documents in New Jersey Bridge Scandal Set to Start Pouring In

But lawyers for many of those subpoenaed have been granted extensions. Even after all the documents are compiled, investigators will have to analyze them, which could take weeks.

“This will not happen as quickly as people anticipate,” said State Senator Loretta Weinberg, a Democrat and a chairwoman of the joint legislative committee leading the investigation.

It is the third legislative committee that has been formed to look into the political machinations behind the closing of several lanes at the George Washington Bridge in September. The resulting traffic jam has become the gravest challenge of Mr. Christie’s political career.

Mr. Christie steadfastly denied for months that his administration had anything to do with matter, but emails made public in January showed that his deputy chief of staff, Bridget Anne Kelly, had called for “some traffic problems in Fort Lee,” the borough at the New Jersey end of the bridge that was turned into a virtual parking lot after two access lanes were closed for four days.

Ms. Kelly’s email was sent to David Wildstein, an official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who directed the closings.

Mr. Wildstein resigned in early December, saying the lane closings had become a “distraction.”

At the time, Mr. Christie praised his service, calling Mr. Wildstein a “tireless advocate” for the state who displayed “commitment and dedication.”

But after the emails were made public, Mr. Christie apologized for the conduct of people close to him, even as he maintained he had no knowledge of the lane closings at the time they took place and was in no way involved.

He also distanced himself from Mr. Wildstein, whom he has known since they went to high school together.

On Friday, the investigation took another, more personal turn when Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer released a letter accusing the governor of lying. He claimed “evidence exists” that shows Mr. Christie had “direct knowledge of the lane closings, during the period when the lanes were shut, contrary to what the governor stated publicly.”

On Saturday, Mr. Christie’s team hit back, sending a set of talking points to political supporters that portrayed Mr. Wildstein as a rogue official whose accusations were designed solely to save his own skin.

The blistering memo assailed Mr. Wildstein, going so far as to reach back to when he was a “16-year-old kid” who was “publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior.”

On Sunday, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York appeared on CBS’s “Face the Nation” to defend Mr. Christie and warn against a rush to judgment.

“So far, there’s no evidence to suggest that he’s not telling the truth,” he said. “I think the governor knows the consequences. If he’s lying, it’s a really bad situation. If he’s not lying, then something very unfair is being done to him. So let’s see what happens.”

The joint legislative panel investigating the closings issued subpoenas demanding documents from 18 people, including Mr. Christie’s chief of staff, his press secretary and a host of officials at the Port Authority.

One of the people subpoenaed, Christina Genovese Renna, who worked in the Christie administration, has resigned, she said in a statement issued by her lawyer on Sunday.

Ms. Renna, whose last day was Friday, had reported to Ms. Kelly, whom the governor fired last month after documents released under a previous subpoena revealed that she had sent an email to a Port Authority official giving the signal to close the lanes.

Ms. Renna said her decision to leave the administration had been in the works since November. 

“This reflects a decision I have been considering since shortly after the election,” she said. “I have spent almost four years working hard for a Governor I continue to respect and admire. The transition from term one to term two is a natural time to pursue an opportunity in the private sector.”

Mr. Christie has promised to cooperate with both the state investigation and a separate inquiry by federal authorities and, so far, most of the people subpoenaed are cooperating, Senator Weinberg said.

Many, however, have asked for more time to provide the relevant documents, which were due by Monday evening.

One top Christie aide has asserted that the wide-ranging request for documents violated his Fifth Amendment rights.

That aide, Bill Stepien, was the governor’s two-time campaign manager and a former deputy chief of staff.

His name surfaced in the emails made public last month, and he was among those who lost their jobs or resigned in light of the scandal.

Mr. Stepien’s lawyer is currently in negotiations with the counsel for the legislative panel, Ms. Weinberg said.

It could take some time for all the documents to be turned over. And even after they are all in, they have to be reviewed.

Ms. Weinberg said that could take weeks. “Once they have been analyzed, we will then decide about who is called for further testimony,” she said.

The documents will start to be released publicly when witnesses are called to testify.

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