UPDATE: 7:19 p.m. ET -- The Bergen Record reports that federal prosecutors in Manhattan have withdrawn their subpoena of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for documents on its chairman, David Samson. According to the Record, the subpoena was withdrawn before reports about it appeared in the media Monday afternoon.
The original story:
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have subpoenaed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for documents on its chairman, David Samson, who is a close ally of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
According to The New York Times, it's not yet clear whether the records request is related to the Bridgegate controversy surrounding the Christie administration, but it appears "to represent a significant widening of the scandal."
In recent months, Christie has faced significant national scrutiny after documents showed that members of his inner circle closed down access lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge, in what appeared to be political retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J.
The move caused massive traffic jams for several days in September. The New Jersey state legislature and New Jersey federal prosecutors are investigating the scandal.
Samson, who has denied having advance knowledge of the lane closures, is a prominent New Jersey attorney and a founding member of the firm Wolff & Samson. Since the Bridgegate scandal broke, there have been an increasing number of reports about the financial benefits Samson has reaped from his position at the Port Authority.
In a March 5 editorial calling for Samson's resignation, The New York Times wrote, "Mr. Samson had no compunction about sending some of that money in the direction of Wolff & Samson and its clients, who seem to have grown fat on the Port Authority’s generosity."
The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that "[a]ccording to people familiar with the matter, Manhattan federal prosecutors were specifically interested in any conflicts between Mr. Samson's private business interests and his actions as chairman of the sprawling bi-state authority, which oversees Hudson River crossings into New York City, airports, the PATH rail system and the World Trade Center complex."
Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye, who was appointed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), recently said he believes Samson lacks the moral authority to remain chairman of the agency.
There will be a court hearing in Trenton on Tuesday to decide whether Christie's former chief of staff and his former top political adviser need to turn over documents to the state legislative panel investigating the scandal.