Chris Christie 'Bridgegate' Investigation Intensifies

A federal probe heightens the stakes on the Chris Christie scandal.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrives to deliver his State Of The State address at the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Trenton, N.J.

What began as a state probe into New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's gubernatorial staff has now expanded to include his 2012 re-election campaign workers.

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The lens continues to grow wider as federal investigators seek to unearth how far New Jersey's Gov. Chris Christie's staff – and now campaign – went to get back at political foes.

What began as a state probe into Christie's gubernatorial staff has now expanded to include his 2012 re-election campaign workers.

The U.S. Attorney's office in New Jersey delivered subpoenas to both Christie's campaign staffers and New Jersey's Republican Party Thursday in an effort to determine who demanded the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge in October and whether those actions had any relationship to Christie's re-election efforts.

 

"The campaign and the state party intend to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's office and the state legislative committee and will respond to the subpoenas accordingly," Mark Sheridan, the group's attorney, said in a statement Thursday.

After news of the new round of subpoenas broke, Christie left an event in New Jersey and remained silent as reporters peppered him with questions, a marked change from the open book-style press conference Christie held earlier this month.

[READ: Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell Were the GOP's Chosen Ones - What Happens Now]

While the state legislature and investigators are looking into what has become known as "Bridgegate," a federal investigation heightens the stakes. On Jan. 17, the state legislature delivered 20 subpoenas to high-level staffers in Christie's governor's office.

The layered investigations come after an email revealed that one of Christie's top aides, Bridget Kelly, ordered the lane closures of the George Washington Bridge. "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee," the email read.

Christie, however, continues to promote his agenda as governor. He was sworn in Jan. 21 for a second term.

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Even as the investigation continues to swirl around Christie and his 2016 prospects dim, he continues to be a national player for the Republican Party. While polls show that Christie's favorability has dropped 19 points since November, the Republican Governor's Association announced the New Jersey governor would travel to Utah, Texas, Illinois and Massachusetts to fundraise on its behalf. And last weekend Christie headlined fundraisers in Florida.

There are some rumblings among those in the party that an embattled governor should not be campaigning and that it may be time for Christie to put on the brakes. Former Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli told CNN that Christie should step down from his leadership role with the RGA.

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