Christie says Justice Department orders or bust

VINELAND – U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie confirmed today that he would not testify Tuesday before a House Judiciary Committee seeking information about his actions in rewarding a federal monitoring contract to former boss John Ashcroft.

The contract for the former U.S. Attorney General is worth between $27 and $52 million.

"I said all along that if the Justice Department asks me I will," said Christie, who said he refuses to get into a back and forth with U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, who yesterday suggested Congress may have to issue a subpoena in order to get Christie to testify.

Christie told PolitckerNJ.com that it impractical to think of United States attorneys going individually without departmental oversight to participate in Congressional hearings.

"If the Justice Department instructs me, I’ll go," he repeated.

The U.S. Attorney was in Vineland today to deliver a speech about gang violence, public corruption and civic responsibility before the Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce at the Ramada Inn.

Christie says Justice Department orders or bust