Christie aide to give bridge testimony

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s (R) spokesman is scheduled to testify Tuesday in front of a state legislative committee investigating the lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

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Emails have linked top officials in Christie’s administration, including spokesman Michael Drewniak, to the decision to close the lanes.

The closures created traffic jams in Fort Lee, N.J., and the panel is investigating whether they were closed as an act of political retribution against a mayor who didn't endorse Christie for reelection.

Earlier documents have made that link, leading Christie to apologize and to fire a deputy chief of staff. The controversy has damaged Christie's White House prospects.

Some documents connected Drewniak to David Wildstein, a former Port Authority of New York and New Jersey official who orchestrated the closures and ultimately resigned after his role in the closures became public.

Emails show Drewniak helped Wildstein coordinate responses to media inquiries about the closures and subsequent gridlock, and that Drewniak had dinner with Wildstein the night before he resigned and gave him advice on his situation.

In addition to the legislative probe, a federal criminal investigation is underway, and Drewniak’s attorney acknowledged he testified in front of a federal grand jury in April.

Drewniak has not been accused of any role in the closures, and a report issued by a law firm hired by Christie to investigate the situation absolved all but Drewniak and Christie’s former deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, of responsibility for the closures. Christie has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the closures.

A former Christie aide, Christina Renna, testified in front of the legislative panel last week and said she believed that Kelly wasn’t ultimately the architect of the scheme.