WASHINGTON — New Jersey Reps. Frank Pallone and Bill Pascrell say they aren’t satisfied by today’s Congressional hearings on deferred prosecution agreements.
The two Democrats hope to investigate the matter further and will continue to push the committee, on which they do not sit, to get U.S. Attorney Chris Christie to testify.
“I’m disappointed that Mr. Christie is not appearing before the subcommittee today,” said Pascrell in his testimony. “He is at the center of this investigation and has thus far failed to enlighten the members of Congress or the general public about the process by which he concluded his deferred prosecution agreement.”
The subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee that conducted the hearing today had originally asked Christie to testify. It settled for U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, David Nahmias, who the Justice Department agreed to send. Christie said he would only testify if asked by the Justice Department.
Both Pallone and Pascrell said they were disappointed with former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s combative testimony today, saying that he didn’t shed any light on the federal oversight contract he was assigned by Christie. Pascrell said he had expected detailed receipts and invoices regarding his charges to Zimmer Holdings, LLC, the company Ashcroft was charged with overseeing.
“He wasn’t helpful,” said Pascrell. “He didn’t say anything here that shed any more light on Zimmer that we didn’t already know, and he didn’t make any more recommendations about where we should go with trying to clear up potential conflicts.”
Pallone agreed, adding that he hopes the committee feels the same way and will ask Christie to come in again.
“The committee process is difficult – because he can basically go on and talk about all his accomplishments as AG which he did with most of his time,” he said. “But that’s why I think it’s necessary to bring Christie – he was the one who brought the appointment.”
Linda Sanchez (R-CA), who chairs the subcommittee, was noncommittal. She said that they would send written questions to today’s witnesses, including Ashcroft, who she said did not stay long enough to provide all the information they needed.
“Once we get that information back we’ll do an assessment of whether additional hearings are needed and whether other witnesses need to be called,” she said.