GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie defended special counsel Jack Smith, saying there is nothing “political” about his investigations into former President Trump.
Christie said on the podcast “On with Kara Swisher” that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) hush-money charges brought against Trump “set the tone” for future indictments against the former president, saying it may have hurt how people view the federal probes.
The former New Jersey governor, a vocal critic of Trump who is seeking to challenge him for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination, also pushed back on claims labeling Smith’s dual investigations into Trump as politically motivated.
“And by the way, the New York one I think is silly,” Christie said on the episode, which aired Thursday. “Unfortunately, what Alvin Bragg did here demeans the other cases.”
“I think it set the tone, and people thought, ‘Oh, well see, this is just a political thing,’” he added. “And now Jack Smith’s work is being looked at in the same light, which I think is unfortunate. I don’t really think there’s anything political about what Jack Smith is doing.”
Smith’s two criminal investigations — looking into Trump’s alleged efforts while in office to overturn the 2020 election and his handling of classified documents after he left office in 2021 — have both resulted in indictments against the former president.
Christie, a former federal prosecutor, spoke to podcast host Kara Swisher before Trump was indicted for a third time Tuesday afternoon. He argued the “most legally perilous” case involves the 40 charges facing Trump in connection to the mishandling of classified documents and attempts to hide them from the government.
He maintained that Smith’s investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and efforts to overturn the 2020 election is the second most dangerous case facing Trump.
Trump is also facing a possible indictment in Georgia this month over efforts by him and allies to overturn the results of that state’s election in 2020. Trump has denied wrongdoing in all of the cases.
Christie revealed on the podcast, which was recorded Monday, that he was interviewed in one of the Trump investigations about six to eight weeks ago, but said he could not say which case. The former governor said he was “honest” in his answers, adding he hopes “it was helpful.”
“They were trying to get a handle on what I knew about his knowledge of the reality of the election results,” Christie said.
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