Was Christie the Leak?

There’s been a lot of supposition over the years that the US Attorney’s office under Chris Christie leaked like a sieve, slipping information damaging to Democrats to the press while holding tight to information that could hurt Republicans.

The evidence was largely circumstantial.  How did the press find out about the subpoena to Bob Menendez just weeks before the Senatorial election?  Why was Brian Thompson standing around as subpoenas were served on Democrats in the Christmas Tree investigation?

Back on March 1, 2007 we wrote:

There is surely no fire here, and maybe only a scent of smoke from far away.  But the actions and subpoenas of the past seven months are exactly what a US Attorney who was told to put pressure on the Democrats would start doing.  Every time a Democrat starts gaining points, hit them with a subpoena.  Every time a Republican needs to score points, make an announcement.

Well, now there’s fire to go with the smoke.  The Corzine FOIA requests for Christie’s communications have unearthed actual phone slips of calls from the media to Christie late on the afternoon of February 27th, 2007 — the day before subpoenas were dropped on three Democratic legislators.

Here’s Brian Thompson of television’s NBC News, talking with Christie the afternoon before the subpoenas dropped: thompson-227afternoon

And here’s Michael Gartland of The Record talking the same afternoon:  gartland-227afternoon

Both Thompson was hanging out at the statehouse just in time for the subpoenas on February 28th, 2007 ensuring quick coverage on television and the Internet.

It’s no stretch to think that Christie was the leak, telling reporters about secret Grand Jury actions — which is, by the way, a crime.  Christie has to answer for this, and either reveal what he talked about with Thompson and Gartland that day or tacitly admit that he personally was the leak.

Before today it was easy to believe Christie used leaks from his office to aid in his political goals.  After today it is hard to refute.

Comments (22)

  1. Jason Springer

    I’m sure it’s just a coincidence the reporters were at the state house, just like it also must have been a coincidence that Joe Kyrillos called Chris Christie the very same day his brother Todd Christie donated $225,000 to the Republican State Committee.

  2. Nick Lento

    Whatever happens on Tuesday, there is a need for a special prosecutor to investigate Christie’s reign as US Attorney…and to prosecute any crimes he and/or his associates may have committed.

  3. Rosi Efthim

    I have to say, nobody has been more dogged, and for so long, in ferreting out the truth about who Christie is than you. You had this guy’s number from the very beginning.

  4. jim34

    Fishman needs to subpeona the reporters.  There is no real “reporters’ privilege” in law.

    If Christie tipped the reporters, they are complicit in a crime, right?

    The integrity of the DOJ is too important not to pursue this.  It’s not a matter of partisanship; it’s a matter of credibility of the federal prosecution system.

    No one is above the law, and Fishman needs to show that justice is still blind in America.  It’s vital to our three co-equal democracy.

  5. jim34

    If Christie wins on Tuesday, he could be indicted early in his term for crimes preceding his oath of office.   Or, maybe even indicted before he takes office.

    Is it legal for someone to hold the governor post if convicted of federal crimes?

    We need to hear from Gartland and Thompson, or if no denial from them the door is open to the speculation that Christie leaked secret grand jury action to them.

    If these journalists have integrity and are unbiased, they will speak honestly to their audience now about this, and not hide behind the shield law … which doesn’t protect them absolutely in criminal matters such as this, anyway.  The shield law clearly never was intended to allow reporters to be direct co-conspirators in a crime.

  6. SmartyJones

    call them for comment?

  7. Babs NJSD

    With all the fetid smoke, you found the fire and the start of the connection to Kyrillos. Keep digging it may even lead you to Ocean County.

  8. ken bank

    This story might have some legs a few weeks ago but its too late now.  

    If Christie does win I hope Democrats don’t make the same mistake as Republicans when they tried to jump on every Clinton scandal as if they struck oil, or Tom Wilson and his holy crusade for the Corzine/Katz emails which wound up nearly bankrupting the NJ-GOP treasury.

    The best bet for Democrats would be to regroup for 2010 and raise lots of money for their congressional candidates and also municipal/county offices.

    I would submit it will take more than just a few phone calls between Joe Kyrillos and Chris Christie to start a prolonged and costly investigation (remember the $60 million Ken Starr spent).  Of course, if there is significant evidence of serious criminal activity you have a Democratic US Attorney as well as a Democratic Justice Department to look into it.

    If there are Democratic politicians screaming for investigations and independent prosecutors it only undermines the legitimacy of actual investigations.  The politicians and pundits should restrain their cheerleading and let the prosecutors go about their business.

    The majority of voters don’t like scandalmongering, even if there is evidence of wrongdoing.  It didn’t work for Republicans in 1998 and won’t work for Democrats either if Christie emerges victorious.

  9. William Weber (WjcW)

    Wouldn’t it be logical for those guys to call Christie if someone from his office leaked the info to them…?

    Seems to me if I’m one of these journalists and some ‘deep throat’ guy calls me and says the US attorney’s offices is up to this and that, I’d be calling Christie’s to confirm/deny the info I recieved.

  10. mmcgrath

    All I see is 2 “call me” messages. We can’t even determine if any question from the reporters was relayed. I would be more suprised to learn that he received no calls from reporters. That would cast a cloud that he was the source as noone would be looking to him as a second source.

    I think that the problem with Christie is the overall economic plan that could be Christie Whitman Part 2. The concept of sullying his record as an AG went out the window when he received widespread praise from everybody on both sides of the aisle a couple of years ago.  

  11. tracey

    Excellent job and thank you!


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