I’ve been interested to see how the recent Rove revelations have resurfaced questions about whether Chris Christie, now Republican candidate for governor of New Jersey, pushed political investigations as US Attorney in order to get right with GOP power brokers in DC and avoid the kind of axing suffered by the other nine US Attorneys canned in late 2006.
As you’ll remember, the common thread uniting all but one or two of the canned USAs was that they refused to use or rather abuse their offices by using their prosecutorial powers to help the Republican party — in most cases by pursuing bogus prosecutions of Democrats. That was what got David Iglesias fired down in New Mexico. But in the background there’s always been the question, if these folks lost their jobs for refusing to bend to Karl Rove & Co.’s will, there must be more than a few out there who held on to their jobs by doing just that.
And Chris Christie has always been at or near the top of the list of US Attorneys who were logical suspects in that regard. Christie didn’t get canned. But his name did appear on two lists of US Attorneys under consideration for firing over the course of 2006. And he did push what was even at the time (before any of the firing scandal was known) seen as a transparently political series of leaks about what ended up being a baseless probe of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) just as Menendez’s own hard-fought campaign for senate (he’d earlier been appointed by Gov. Corzine) was coming down to the wire.
Since Christie is now running against Corzine on what amounts to an anti-corruption platform, we had TPMMuckraker’s Zack Roth go back and look at where the evidence now stands and what new questions have been raised by the new evidence from Rove’s depositions.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.