Attorney says FBI visited former Christie campaign manager

Posted: March 05, 2014

An attorney for Gov. Christie's former campaign manager disclosed in a court filing Monday that federal authorities are investigating his client as part of a probe into September lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

Bill Stepien "is undeniably a subject, if not a target" of the U.S. Attorney's Office's investigation into the traffic jams, attorney Kevin Marino wrote in a brief filed with Superior Court in Trenton.

The brief says a subpoena issued by a special legislative committee investigating the traffic jams - which were carried out by Christie allies, allegedly for political payback - violates Stepien's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

The committee had asked a judge to force Stepien to comply with the subpoena.

While maintaining his client's innocence, Marino wrote that the authorities' interest in Stepien contradicted the committee's claim that the subpoena itself did not place Stepien at risk of incrimination.

Federal authorities have contacted the attorney, the brief says, while an FBI agent and a criminal investigator for the Justice Department visited Stepien's home in February, questioning his landlord about "his conduct and character - was he married, was he a rowdy tenant, did he pay his rent on time - and left behind their calling cards, which prominently identified them as criminal investigators."

A court hearing on the subpoena is scheduled for Monday.


aseidman@phillynews.com

856-779-3846 @AndrewSeidman

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