Gov. Chris Christie is still entertaining fantasies of running for president, but new documents connect Christie office to a corruption scandal in New Jersey.
Christie’s office has repeatedly denied that they improperly intervened to quash indictments in a Hunterdon County corruption investigation, but new documents that will be filed in court tell a different story.
According to the International Business Times:
In the 16 months since the New York Times cast a spotlight on the Hunterdon County case and Barlyn’s whistleblower lawsuit, the Christie administration has consistently dismissed talk of inappropriate intervention as the stuff of wild conspiracy theory. “Governor Christie had never recalled meeting or talking with a single one of these oddball characters,” his spokesman wrote in an October 2013 letter to the Times, adding that the governor “had no knowledge whatsoever of the case in question, its prosecution or ultimate dismissal by the judge.”
But the email sent that September day by Dermot O’Grady — a Christie administration deputy attorney general tasked with taking over from the Hunterdon prosecutor’s office — presents an alternate picture. Among a document trove Barlyn is planning to file on Thursday in Superior Court in Trenton, the O’Grady email suggests that a senior political aide to Christie, Michele Brown, was indeed interested in the Hunterdon County case. She was especially interested in one of the local prosecutors in the office that had persuaded the grand jury to issue indictments.
But the documents expected to be filed Thursday include statements attributed to then-Deputy Attorney General O’Grady that suggest he’d been dispatched by the Christie administration to take over the Hunterdon case with a clear directive: Quash the indictments and eliminate the prosecutors who had engineered them.
It was reported two weeks ago that Christie was at the center of a new federal investigation into the quashing of the indictments. Unlike Bridgegate where his administration left him some deniability, the governor himself is reported to be the focus of the new federal investigation. There is an email trail where Christie is identified that makes it clear that the governor was involved in the corruption scandal.
Christie has seen his popularity plunge to the point where he would get destroyed in his home state if he ran against Hillary Clinton, but this is bigger than politics. Christie is under federal criminal investigation.
Unlike Bridgegate, this time there appears to be a paper trail.
Instead of dreaming of the White House, Chris Christie better begin to think about avoiding the big house.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association