Fired Christie aide invokes Fifth Amendment

Bridget Kelly, the top Chris Christie aide who was fired after e-mails showed her ordering a traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J., is refusing to turn over documents to state legislators by invoking her right to avoid self-incrimination.

From the Bergen Record:

In a brief phone interview, attorney Michael Critchley, Sr. said Kelly has not received a subpoena from federal prosecutors investigating the George Washington Bridge lane closures. And she refuses to turn over documents in response to a subpoena issued by a state legislative panel that is conducting its own investigation.

"I'm going to proceed in this matter deliberately to ensure my client's rights are fully protected," Critchley said.

Critchley notified the legislative panel on Monday--the due date for turning over documents--that the information they had demanded "directly overlaps with a parallel federal grand jury investigation." The letter, sent to the committee's special counsel and obtained by The Record, also cites her right to privacy.

It says providing the committee with "unfettered access to, among other things, Ms. Kelly's personal diaries, calendars and all of her electronic devices amounts to an inappropriate and unlimited invasion of Ms. Kelly's personal privacy and would also potentially reveal highly personal confidential communications completely unrelated to the reassignment of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge," Critchley wrote.

Kelly is the former deputy chief of staff who infamously got the ball rolling on the traffic jam plot by writing, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," to a Christie appointee on the Port Authority.

That Port Authority official, David Wildstein, has also invoked the Fifth Amendment and recently caused a stir by claiming to know of evidence that disproves some of Christie's claims. Former Christie campaign manager Bill Stepien has invoked the Fifth Amendment, too.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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