Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appeared on MSNBC Tuesday evening to discuss his experiences working with President Donald Trump. Christie, who campaigned for Trump, gave his take on on a number of issues related to Trump and those in his orbit.
Eventually, Christie’s conversation with Nicole Wallace turned to legal problems and investigations facing Trump and his associates. Christie, a former U.S. Attorney, was very clear on one thing: Special Counsel Robert Mueller does not pose the greatest danger to the president.
“I think that the Mueller investigation is not the president’s biggest problem, and that the Southern District of New York investigation has always been much more dangerous and has much more hazard to it than does the Mueller investigation.”
It was the SDNY who secured the guilty plea of Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen for crimes including campaign finance violations for hush payments made to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. Cohen indicated that the payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were meant to protect Trump’s campaign, and were done at Trump’s direction. SDNY prosecutors also made this assertion in a court filing, essentially implicating the president in a crime, although they did not mention him by name.
While sitting presidents cannot be indicted under current Justice Department policies, Trump could theoretically face charges upon leaving office if he does not win reelection.
Mueller, meanwhile, is focused on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. When the investigation was in its infancy under the leadership of then-FBI Director James Comey, Trump himself was not under investigation. Comey’s firing, however, led to an investigation of possible obstruction of justice. Mueller’s investigation has led to convictions of several Trump associates, including Cohen, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort. So far, the public has not seen any evidence of illegal activity involving the campaign and Russia, and Christie told the New York Times that he never saw any evidence of collusion.
Christie just released a new book, Let Me Finish, which explores some of his experiences on Trump’s team. Recently reported details from the book include his recollection on how Jared Kushner supposedly endorsed the idea that firing Flynn would put an end to any Russia-related inquiry. Christie claims to have laughed at that suggestion, accurately predicting that the Russia probe would continue much longer.
[Image via MSNBC screengrab]