The Latest: Lawyers spar over Christie phone in bridge case

NEWARK, N.J. – The Latest on a court hearing in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case (all times local):

1 p.m.

Attorneys for two of Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s former allies say they should get access to his cellphone in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case because the law firm representing him is the same one that did what they call a less-than-thorough investigation on the matter earlier.

Defendants Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly say the cellphone is relevant because a former Christie aide said she texted the governor during legislative testimony by bridge officials in 2014.

The parties are in court Thursday arguing over the defendants’ subpoena.

Defence attorney Michael Critchley said the Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher law firm didn’t ask Christie about the text messages during its investigation. He said it also didn’t press the aide about the texts.

The law firm’s report in early 2014 absolved Christie of wrongdoing.


11:55 a.m.

The law firm representing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s office in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case is attacking defence attorneys’ requests to view materials, including the Republican governor’s cellphone.

The parties are arguing in front of a judge over a subpoena by two former Christie allies facing federal charges they closed the lanes to create traffic jams to punish a mayor for not endorsing Christie.

Randy Mastro with the law firm told a judge Thursday that the firm fully complied with a government subpoena. He says granting the defendants’ subpoena would essentially award them a search warrant to look at the personal devices of Christie and others in his office.

Defence attorneys say a former aide texted with the governor during testimony by bridge officials to a legislative committee.


12:05 a.m.

Two former allies of Republican Gov. Chris Christie and the law firm representing the Republican governor’s office are going to court to battle over text messages related to the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case.

Bill Baroni and Bridget Kelly have subpoenaed the texts and other communications from Christie’s office as they defend themselves against federal charges they create traffic jams to punish a local Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie.

The law firm Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher released a report in early 2014 that absolved Christie from any wrongdoing.

It has billed New Jersey taxpayers more than $10 million for the report and for representing Christie’s office in the bridge case.

Kelly and Baroni contend the firm has deliberately refused to turn over relevant materials.

The firm has denied the accusations.