NJ U.S. Attorney Stirs Alarm With Political Cases

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U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie in New Jersey, using experience gained as a corporate lawyer, a fund-raiser for President Bush, and a Republican county freeholder, Christie has pursued many criminal investigations into New Jersey’s “notoriously dodgy political system, to stunning, and often salacious, effect,” says the New York Times. After winning convictions against dozens of low-level elected officials from both parties, he has guided several high-profile corruption inquiries that have rocked the state’s establishment and made Gov. James E. McGreevey the focus of unflattering national publicity, without accusing him of any wrongdoing.

As investigations into McGreevey’s fund-raisers and former aides have intensified in recent weeks, Christie finds himself walking an uncomfortable line between his duties as prosecutor and his own political potential. Sme Republicans are urging him to rescue the party from its current political exile by running for governor next year. Democrats are angry about federal agents’ unannounced search of the Democratic State Committee’s headquarters, and Christie’s decision to subpoena documents from the governor’s office rather than simply request them. “I don’t know if the intention is to run himself,” said Assemblyman Joseph Cryan, vice chairman of the Democratic State Committee. “But it’s pretty clear that the Republican Party gets the benefit of innuendo.”

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/21/nyregion/21chris.html

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