Former U.S. Attorney and current Republican gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie is considering an invitation to testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on June 25.
The committee originally scheduled the hearing and invited Christie for May 19, but put it off at the urging of Republican members, who argued that its timing could impact the GOP gubernatorial primary.
The hearing’s focus will be on legislation co-authored by U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) and Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) that creates guidelines for how deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) are awarded. The political ramifications are obvious, however, as the legislation was inspired by Christie’s awarding of a lucrative federal monitoring contract to his former boss, ex-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.
A subcommittee hearing last year over DPAs turned contentious when Ashcroft testified and defended Christie’s use of the agreements.
Christie Campaign Manager Bill Stepien said that Christie has a few questions about the hearing’s rules and guidelines, and that his decision will hinge on whether he thinks it will be a fair hearing.
“If this is a serious attempt at increasing transparency and increasing reform measures in government, we’re happy to do it. We want to be a part of it and will add to the discussion,” said Christie Campaign Manager Bill Stepien, who confirmed that Christie received an invitation from House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-MI). “If it’s not, we won’t be a part of it, and right now we’re trying to sort through the answer to those questions.”