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Chris Christie ally invokes Fifth on subpoena

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ChristieNew Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s former campaign manager is fighting a subpoena from state lawmakers investigating the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal, according to a letter POLITICO obtained Friday.

Bill Stepien’s legal team is asking the lawmakers to withdraw his subpoena on the grounds that it violates his Fifth Amendment rights — becoming the second person to turn to that constitutional protection since probes of the controversy have begun. The demand suggests lawmakers who have expanded their investigation into the Republican governor’s inner circle could face major roadblocks.

Stepien “maintains his innocence” and was not subpoenaed in a separate investigation the U.S. attorney in New Jersey is undertaking, his legal team from the firm of Marino, Tortorella & Boyle noted in the letter sent to Reid Schar, the attorney hired to assist the legislators’ probe.

“But the very real possibility that his act of producing documents and things responsive to the subpoena might compel him to furnish a link in the chain of evidence that could be used to ensnare him in the ambiguous circumstances of a criminal prosecution and thus force him to become a witness against himself, in violation of his fundamental right against self-incrimination — is a more than compelling reason to withdraw that instrument,” Stepien’s legal team wrote.



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