WASHINGTON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie agreed to his first court appearance in response to the Citizen Criminal Complaint filed in relation to the 2013 lane closures of the George Washington Bridge, according to court documents released Wednesday.
Christie, who is leading transition planning efforts for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and has been a top surrogate for the campaign, is scheduled to appear in court November 23.
In his complaint, Bill Brennan accused the Republican governor of official misconduct saying Christie “knowingly refrained from ordering that his subordinates take all necessary action to re-open local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, New Jersey, that had been closed with purpose to injure Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.”
Brennan formally requested that the state attorney general and county prosecutor be disqualified because they were appointment by Christie, in what he calls “a constitutional conundrum.” He adds that Attorney General Christopher Porrino served previously as chief counsel to Christie and his then-Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly.
According to Brennan, “Porrino holds supervisory authority over every county prosecutor’s office, therefore each and every prosecutor in the State of New Jersey has a conflict of interest and is thereby precluded from participating in this prosecution.”
Court documents also show stipulation between the prosecutor and the defense, confirming the time for Gov. Christie’s appearance on November 23, 1:30 p.m. According to Brennan, the timing of his appearance is intentionally set before Thanksgiving to lower media attention.
Christie’s attorney, Craig Carpenito, referred CNN to the governor’s press office for any comment. CNN has yet to hear back from Christie’s office.
Last week Brian Murray, Christie’s spokesman, released a statement saying the complaint was “dishonorable” and “filed by a known serial complainant and political activist with a history of abusing the judicial system,” Murray went on to say, “The simple fact is the governor had no knowledge of the lane realignments either before they happened or while they were happening. This matter has already been thoroughly investigated by three separate independent investigations. The ruling is being appealed immediately.”