The chairman of a House Judiciary Subcommittee that questioned former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie last June on his use of deferred prosecution agreements has given the Republican gubernatorial candidate until September 4 to fully respond to questions asked by several members of the panel.
U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), the chairman of the Commercial and Administrative Law subcommittee, called Christie's responses to additional questions "particularly unsatisfactory."
After the hearing, Cohen sent Christie a series of questions related to a settlement with Zimmer Holdings. Christie's decision to appoint former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft as a federal monitor to oversee the deferred prosecution agreement has become an issue in the gubernatorial campaign.
"For all but two of the questions, you responded with a general assertion that the questions were answered in your oral and written testimony," Cohen wrote to Christie. "At times you cited page numbers in the unofficial hearing transcript, which on further inspection appear not to contain anythig responsive, and which in any event will be confusing to those who will have only the officially published hearing record."
Cohen said that the answers to those two questions are incomplete.
Correspondence between Christie and Cohen was released today by two Democratic congressmen from New Jersey, Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) and Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson).
"Chairman Cohen and the other members of the congressional subcommittee have legitimate oversight responsibilities with federal prosecutors and valid questions about the heavy use of deferred prosecution agreements," said Pallone. "Mr. Christie walked out of the congressional hearing and now he's all but refusing to answer follow-up questions. I would expect a former federal official to have more respect for the legal process and to be more responsive to questions about his past actions."
Christie has agreed to testify before the subcommittee and told the panel he would be available from 11AM until 1:30 PM. Cohen was twenty minutes late starting the hearing and Christie stayed an extra half hour before leaving to make a train back to New Jersey.