New Jersey Gov. Chris Christieâ€™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 Stepienâ€™s legal team is asking the lawmakers to withdraw his subpoena on the grounds that it violates his Fifth Amendment rights â€” 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 governorâ€™s inner circle could face major roadblocks.
Stepien â€śmaintains his innocenceâ€ť 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 legislatorsâ€™ probe.
â€śBut 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 â€” is a more than compelling reason to withdraw that instrument,â€ť Stepienâ€™s legal team wrote.