Federal law enforcement officials have launched a criminal investigation of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and members of his administration, pursuing allegations the governor and his staff broke the law when they quashed grand jury indictments against Christie supporters, International Business Times has learned.
Could Chris Christie join the mugshot club? The investigation relates to an already well-known escapade in which grand jury indictments against Christie-backing officials in Hunterdon County were taken over by the Christie administration, which then set about to reverse them.
[Hunterdon County prosecutor Bennett Barlyn]’s office began probing Trout in 2008, eventually convening a grand jury that returned 43 indictments against her, Undersheriff Michael Russo and investigator John Falat Jr. The Christie administration then intervened, took over the prosecution and -- in an extraordinary step -- moved to have the grand jury indictments overturned, saying they were legally and factually deficient. When Barlyn raised objections, he was fired.
The expunging of those indictments, Barlyn's termination and his allegations that Christie’s administration quashed the case to protect the governor’s supporters were first aired in a lengthy story in the New York Times in 2013. Several members of the grand jury told the Times that the evidence supporting the indictments was strong, and that overturning them seemed motivated by political considerations.
Fun fact: Transcripts from that grand jury are among the many records Christie's administration has refused to release
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