Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed records from the head of the Port Authority according to The Wall Street Journal — a request that apparently expands the scope of the investigations surrounding the behavior of the agency and the office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
By this point, the cast of characters in the Christie scandal has grown large enough that a quick who's who is in order. The Port Authority is the two-state agency that manages the bridges and tunnels that connect New York and New Jersey, as well as the World Trade Center site. The chairman of the agency is David Samson, the target of these new subpoenas. The executive director of the Port Authority on the other hand is Patrick Foye, who was the person that demanded the "traffic study" that closed several lanes leading onto the George Washington Bridge last September be terminated. That closure apparently came at the request of a senior Christie staffer, in an email issued to a Christie appointee suggesting it was "time for traffic problems in Fort Lee" — the Jersey town at the base of the George Washington Bridge that the lane closures ensnared in traffic jams for a full week. Got it?
Samson was a Christie appointee, nominated in 2010 for the position despite "questions of conflict" as the Journal reported at the time. Samson, you see, is a lawyer with the firm Wolff & Samson, which has represented a number of real estate clients, including Larry Silverstein, the developer of the World Trade Center site. In January, The New York Times speculated that Samson was likely to be a target of investigation since he was "regularly consulted by the political operatives at the port who conceived and carried out the shutdown." At that point, Christie assured the public that Samson wasn't involved in the closures.