WASHINGTON – After exiting the congressional subcommittee meeting where he testified on his use of deferred prosecution agreements as U.S. Attorney, a visibly irritated Chris Christie called the hearing a “political circus.”
“I agree with the Obama Administration, who think that what we did was completely appropriate. You heard the official from the Obama Justice Department say that they wouldn’t change a thing about what we did. You heard another former U.S. Attorney say the same thing. You heard GAO say exactly the same thing,” said Chrisite, referring to non-partisan officials who also testified. “The only people who believe that this is a problem are the people who want to make political hay out of it.”
Christie accused House Democrats of “using the money of the taxpayers of the United States to perform this political circus.”
The exchanges between Christie and several House Democrats were often contentious and at times downright combative.
Subcommittee Chairman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) even objected to Christie leaving the hearing at their pre-agreed upon time of 1:30pm (in his letter agreeing to testify, Christie informed Cohen that he needed to leave then).
When Christie told Cohen that he had to catch a train scheduled for just before 2:00pm, Cohen said “You’ll never make that,” and attempted to keep Christie there for questions from U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.).
“Sir, I’m going,” Christie said, then left arose and left the room. He took questions in the hallway for about two minutes before heading off to Union Station.
Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee had a statement out within half an hour of Christie completing his testimony.
“Chris Christie’s testimony to Congress leaves too many unanswered questions about tens of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts that appear to have gone to friends and political cronies like John Ashcroft," said DNC spokesman Michael Czin. “It’s clear that as US Attorney Christie used his position to help his friends, and now those very friends are helping him fill his campaign coffers. Chris Christie’s repeated ethical lapses demonstrate that he’s just not up to the task of serving as governor of New Jersey,”