- This week, federal prosecutors issued a new subpoena to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey related to Governor Chris Christie's administration, reports Ted Mann of the Wall Street Journal.
- The subpoena relates to claims that Christie's aides retaliated against Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop after Fulop decided not to endorse Christie for re-election.
- In January, Christie's re-election campaign was subpoenaed for documents relating to that same topic. The Wall Street Journal's Heather Haddon reported that investigators are probing whether state officials may have illegally mixed official work and campaign work.
- The Journal reported last week that "this stage" of the federal investigation would likely conclude soon — leading to an announcement of whether charges would be filed.
- In September, NBC 4 New York reported that these same investigators found no evidence that Christie ordered the Bridgegate scandal.
What's this controversy about Christie and Jersey City's mayor?
In May 2013, Steven Fulop — a 36-year-old Marine and Iraq War veteran — was elected as mayor of Jersey City. He was immediately viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party — and, apparently, as a potential big get for Chris Christie's re-election campaign, which wanted to demonstrate the governor's bipartisan support by winning endorsements from local Democrats. The administration quickly scheduled a round of meetings for the mayor-elect with six top state officials.
However, in mid-July, Fulop sent word that he wasn't going to endorse Christie's campaign. Suddenly, as Melissa Hayes of the Bergen Record and Kate Zernike of the New York Times reported, all of those meetings were canceled — most within the very next hour, via personal calls from those top state officials. "That the commissioners called the mayor's office personally shows an unusually close level of involvement for high-ranking government officials," Zernike wrote.
Emails show that Christie's head of intergovernmental affairs, Bridget Kelly — the aide who wrote the infamous "time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee" email — had initially arranged the meetings between state officials and Fulop.
A Bridgegate email also briefly mentioned Fulop — and revealed the mayor was not in good standing with some members of Christie's administration. In the email, Kelly asked David Wildstein, the Port Authority official who executed the lane closures, whether the calls of Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee were being returned. "Radio silence. His name comes right after Mayor Fulop," Wildstein wrote in response.