NJ Politics Digest: Christie Dances Around AG Speculation

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Former Gov. Chris Christie has made no secret of his desire to serve as United States Attorney General. But now that the job is open, Christie is being coy about his interest.

The former governor — who left office with historically low approval ratings — refused to tell the Record if he would accept the job if it was offered to him. He also contends that no one from the White House has contacted him about the position.

That might be true. Christie would bring a lot of baggage to the role as the nation’s top law enforcement officer. Though he has repeatedly denied any involvement, Christie’s legacy has been inexorably been linked to Bridgegate, a petty political stunt and abuse of administrative power that killed the former governor’s presidential ambitions and calls into question whether he can be trusted in such a high office or to oversee the operations of a national office with such far-reaching consequence and opportunity for abuse.

On Tuesday, Democrats provided a small window into what a Christie confirmation hearing might turn into, when questioning Paul Matey, an attorney who counseled Christie during the scandal and who is now nominated for a seat on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Matey, like Christie, contended he had no knowledge of the antics of the three top Christie administration insiders who either pleaded guilty or were convicted in connection with the scheme to block traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

When questioning Matey during the hearing, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy noted the many allegations of wrongdoing levelled at the Christie administration.

“So many of the scandals it’s hard to — we don’t have time to go through all of them,” Leahy said, according to a CNN report.

Quote of the Day: “I read the papers. I know the position is open. Nobody has to tell me.” — former Gov. Chis Christie, denying he’s been contacted about replacing former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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