A New Jersey state senator said in an interview on CNN on Thursday that the federal government should investigate allegations that the administration of Gov. Chris Christie purposely blocked access to the busy George Washington Bridge as an act of political revenge.

A series of e-mails and text messages disclosed Wednesday show that deputy chief of staff and two of his top appointees at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed a pair of access lanes from Fort Lee, N.J., onto the bridge into New York, causing days of gridlock and mayhem in the Fort Lee area in September.

Christie issued a statement denying any knowledge of the scheme, and is scheduled to take questions from reporters on Thursday at 11 a.m.

State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D) told CNN's "New Day" that the Justice Department should investigate. He cited local reports that the severe traffic jams impeded emergency services, and may have contributed to the death of an elderly woman who suffered a heart attack and had to wait for paramedics to arrive.

"This crosses a line that is rarely crossed: People's lives were in danger," Lesniak said on CNN. "Endangering people's lives -- that's not politics. That's why the U.S. attorneys have to get involved."