Embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie sustained a major political and legal setback on Wednesday, as it emerged that federal prosecutors have subpoenaed his 2013 re-election campaign.
The subpoenas, part of U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman's federal inquiry into politically-motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in September 2013, concern government meetings that were canceled with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop after Fulop, a Democrat, refused to endorse Christie's re-election bid. As the Wall Street Journal observes, the subpoenas "are another sign that the yearlong probe into former allies of Mr. Christie has broadened beyond matters directly related to" the Bridgegate scandal.
Fishman's subpoenas come one year after Fulop publicly charged that days after he declined to endorse the governor, Christie's office nixed meetings he was scheduled to hold with administration officials.
The Journal reports that Fishman's inquiry has focused in large part on the activities of the New Jersey Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, which functions as a liaison between the Christie administration and lawmakers and is said to have been wielded as a source of political intimidation as Christie sought a second term.
Two months before it was revealed that Christie's deputy chief of staff, Bridget Kelly, ordered the lane closures following Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich's refusal to endorse Christie, the governor defeated Democratic challenger Barbara Buono by 22 points.
The expansion of Fishman's inquiry represents merely the latest setback for the governor, whom most observers expect to mount a campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Beyond lingering questions over his role in Bridgegate, Christie confronts firestorms surrounding his state's troubled pension fund and -- most recently -- favors reportedly awarded to a company co-owned by the Dallas Cowboys, whose owner has lavished gifts on Christie, a longtime fan.