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News & Notes: Court date set for Christie aides’ attorneys’ challenge of subpoena

Attorneys for two former aides of embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will appear in court next month to argue why their clients should not comply with subpoenas issued to further investigate the Fort Lee bridge lane closures, The Star-Ledger reported.

State Superior Court Assignment Judge Mary Jacobson told attorneys for former Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Anne Kelly and former campaign adviser Bill Stepien to submit briefs defending their position by March 3. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is investigating the actions that led the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to close two lanes on a major bridge in Fort Lee for four days in September, causing major traffic problems for the town.

A series of controversial text messages and emails between top staff members of Christie’s office discussing the lane closures surfaced in January. The messages, including Kelly’s now-infamous “Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee” email to former Port Authority official David Wildstein, fueled accusations that Christie’s office caused the four-day gridlock as retribution against the town’s mayor. Christie fired Kelly after the emails surfaced and also cut ties with Stepien, a consultant for the Republican Governors Association, because of derisive language Stepien had used in emails and texts to describe Mark Sokolich, the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee.