Christie Corruption: Chris Christie Investigated For Blackmail


Chris Christie Corruption: Congressional Testimony of investigation into US Attorney General Chris Christie for Blackmail.

During Investigation Congressmen testify that essentially amounts to corporate blackmail.

The congressman called for the creation of new laws to outlaw the actions that Chris Christie took as US Attorney General and stated Christie’s actions where a Politicization of the US Attorney General’s Office and that Mr. Christie has already Voilated pre-existing ethics guidelines, Christie’s actions where the essence of political favoritism.

Congressmen also called for the Department of Justice to hold Mr. Christie to account for his actions that run counter to ethics guidelines he should have been following from the start.

Testimony of Congressmen John Conyers, Jr in Christie Corruption Investigation

Statement of the Honorable John Conyers, Jr

One such example of the potential for politicization has arisen in the agreement between Zimmer Holdings and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, in which U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie chose his former supervisor, namely former Attorney General John Ashcroft, as the corporate monitor. Pursuant to this agreement, Zimmer Holdings has agreed to pay Mr. Ashcroft’s firm anywhere from $28 to $52 million. Prior to Mr. Ashcroft’s appointment, however, there was neither public notice of the monitor position nor any public bidding for the assignment.

This example highlights the concern that we must assure the public that the Department of Justice
is not rewarding political allies in a forum where prosecutorial independence is paramount. Our
investigation into the firings of the nine U.S. Attorneys taught us that the Department can be
politicized in a way that undermines this very public confidence. Again, we hope that the Department guidelines released just yesterday accomplish the goal of restoring public confidence.

Testimony of Representative Frank Pallone, Jr sayin Christie Engaged in Corporate Blackmail

TESTIMONY OF REPRESENTATIVE FRANK PALLONE, JR requesting H.R. 5086 to prevent Christie style of corruption.

I find it troubling that federal prosecutors have such tremendous discretion in appointing these corporate monitors. Allowing an unelected official unfettered leverage against companies and corporations who have potentially engaged in criminal behavior invites the type of abuse our judicial system is designed to prevent.

Specifically, in my home state of New Jersey, a consulting firm led by former Attorney General John Ashcroft received a contract from U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, his former employee. The fact that there was no competitive bidding and no public input in this process is problematic.

It seems that every U.S. Attorney handles the process of appointing corporate monitors differently. Some, like Christie, literally dictated the choice. Others provide a short list to the company accused of criminal activity or simply reserve their right to veto a company’s selection.

With little say over which firm is appointed as a corporate monitor, companies are strong-armed into complying with the will of the U.S. Attorney. This essentially amounts to corporate blackmail on the part of the U.S. Attorneys.

I believe that the reforms offered in my legislation are essential in rooting out any possible corruption or wrong-doing in the process of distributing these monitor arrangements.

Testimony of Representative Frank Bill Pascrell, Jr For investigation into Christie for Corruption

Testimony of Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr

My attention was first brought to this issue of deferred prosecution agreements in large part because of published reports regarding the actions taken by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey. It had been reported that U.S Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Christopher Christie had reached a $311 million settlement to end an investigation into kickbacks being made by leading manufacturers of knee and hip replacements.

There are a number of indisputable facts in this case that raise very troubling questions, which remain unanswered. First and foremost is the fact is that Mr. Christie selected former Attorney General John Ashcroft, his own former superior, for a highly lucrative federal monitoring contract. In addition, there were four other medical device manufacturers given deferred prosecution agreements under this case. In every instance Mr. Christie selected former Justice Department associates to serve as federal monitors under highly lucrative monitoring contracts. This was seemingly done without any negotiation of fees or any consideration of selecting monitors with whom he was not closely associated with. These actions are all the more troubling in the light of testimony by representatives of Zimmer Holdings to the Senate Special Committee on Aging that

Mr. Christie never presented the evidence he held against them and that he never forewarned them to the fact that he would be selecting Ashcroft Group as their monitor. This representative also made clear that Zimmer Holdings felt compelled to consent to this deferred prosecution agreement because they feared being taken off the Medicare providers list, which would have crippled their business. Therefore, Mr. Christie held all the leverage in this agreement and dictated the terms completely as he saw fit.

In addition, as Attorney General Mr. Ashcroft created the current system of deferred prosecution agreements. …the troubling fact is that Mr. Ashcroft created a process for corporate prosecutions within the Department of Justice, from which he now benefits handsomely from.

Finally, this memorandum merely ascribes many principles that already exist within statues governing the ethics of this issue. For example, the memorandum states pre-existing guidelines set forth in 18 U.S.C § 208 and 5 C.F.R. Part 2635 to avoid the appearance of a conflict-of-interest in the selection of monitors. From reading these statutes it seems quite reasonable to understand that Mr. Christie has already violated the letter and the spirit of these pre-exiting ethics guidelines with his selection of former colleagues and associates to serve as federal monitors. I would hope then that the Department of Justice would hold Mr. Christie to account for his actions that run counter to ethics guidelines he should have been following from the start.

Hearing before COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY MARCH 11, 2008

Congressional Testimony during investigation into Christie for Blackmail

I was troubled to learn of what appeared to be a back room sweetheart deal where New Jersey U.S. attorney, Christopher Christie appointed John Ashcroft, the former attorney general, to serve as an independent corporate monitor and collect fees between $28 million and $52 million.

I discovered that the parties to these agreements were operating in a wild west type of environment with no laws and no Justice Department guidelines.

This term, this Subcommitte and this Committee have witnessed the US Attorneys investigation — in which the Majority played partisan games over the Department’s prosecutorial decisions.

In turn the monitors of these multi-million contracts hire Christie and his assistants to enforce the agreement. In hist testimony before congress Ashcroft says he charges such exhorbitan fees because he has to hire the best professionals

These professionals include former United States attorneys, assistant United States attorneys, former FBI members, former United States Department of Justice officials, intellectual property lawyers.

Pallone

Recently it has come to light that certain Federal prosecutors are using their powerful positions to steer no-bid contracts to former employers and other influential people with which they have close ties. And I find it troubling that Federal prosecutors have such tremendous discretion in appointing these corporate monitors. Allowing an unelected official unfettered leverage against companies and corporations who have potentially engaged in criminal behavior invites the type of abuse our judicial system is designed to prevent.

It seems that every U.S. attorney handles the process of appointing corporate monitors differently. Some, like Christie, literally dictated the choice. Others provided a short list to the company accused of criminal activity or simply reserved the right to veto a company’s selection.

With little say over which firm is appointed as the corporate monitor, companies are strong-armed into complying with the will of the U.S. attorney. And this essentially amounts to corporate blackmail on the part of the U.S. attorneys, in my opinion.

Willaim Pascrell, Jr : Christie Taxpayers footed bill for Christie’s Blackmail scandal

Mr. Christie is needed in this hearing in part because he awarded a $10 million monitorship contract to a former public official that served in the Morris County board of freeholders. A contract that was paid by UMDNJ, a public education entity, meaning that taxpayers footed the bill.

I want to be clear in saying that the selection of close associates by a Federal law officer to take on highly lucrative contracts which are never negotiated and in which outside contractors are never considered is the essence of political favoritism.

Mr. Ashcroft literally created the process of deferred prosecution agreements, a process that he now benefits from handsomely.

These deferred prosecution agreements lack any checks and balances within the system as power is almost entirely concentrated in the hands of Federal prosecutors alone. No one here, including myself, is in a position of defending corporate corruptions or arguing against their full prosecution by the law. In this instance, we are left with a deferred prosecution system that gives Federal prosecutors unmitigated power to be the judge, the jury, and the sentencer.

I cannot stress more strongly the need for comprehensive legislation regarding deferred prosecution agreements. This practice has clearly been created by the Department of Justice to generate unmitigated power for federal prosecutors pursuing corporations, as highlight by the actions of U.S Attorney Christie in this case.

Christie went after 5 medical companies. The only one that that avoided criminal complaint was  Stryker, who coincedentaly was monitored by John Carley and employee of the Cendant Corporation where Christie owned stocks.

n 2004, two top executives of Cendant Corp. went on trial after Christie’s office charged that they managed a conspiracy to inflate the company’s earnings to drive up its stock price. The jury began deliberating on the fate of former Chairman Walter Forbes and former vice chairman, E. Kirk Shelton, in November. On Dec. 30, just days before the jury announced its verdict, Christie purchased Cendant stock valued at up to $15,000 according to his personal financial disclosure statement.

In March 2005, Christie’s office filed a motion to intervene in a civil case against former Cendant Chairman Walter Forbes, citing his upcoming retrial on criminal charges.

Christie sold his stock so cendent in August 2005, Christie campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella said. Just 2 months later the Cendant Corporation broke into 4 different companies.

Christie was the only person responsible for supervising his agreements and the only person with the discretion to enter a non-prosecution agreement.

Chris Christie bought and sold stock in a travel and real estate company while it was under investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office he led at the time, according to public records. Christie, now the Republican candidate for governor, purchased shares of Cendant Corp. in 2004 and sold them in 2005, according to financial disclosure reports he filed with the Justice Department. In 2002, his office had renewed an investigation into Cendant, leading to fraud convictions of two of its former top executives in 2005 and 2007.

Why do the same names keep popping up in Chris Christie’s history? Why are so many of them Bush insiders, or high donors to marquee Republican campaign’s like John McCain’s? Doesn’t Christie know anybody else?

http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/printers/110th/41190.PDF

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