Monday, October 23, 2023

One Corrupt Asshole

A bit curious why the NYT decided to publish this now, but it's always good to have a little reminder of of this scandal.
Sometime in 2005, Bush advisers began compiling a list of prosecutors they thought weren’t doing enough to help Republicans electorally. Mr. Christie made the list. Learning of his potential ouster, he promptly started an investigation into Robert Menendez, who was running for his first full term in the Senate. From 1994 to 2003, Mr. Menendez had made $300,000 by leasing a house to a community group. Yet it was not until Mr. Menendez was in a close Senate race and Mr. Christie was facing dismissal that the contract demanded urgent investigation. Mr. Bush’s staff seemed to discover a newfound appreciation for Christie, and he kept his job.

Near the end of the second Bush term, Mr. Christie seemed to have concluded that he was exempt from the ethical standards he once held others to. He lavishly overspent on hotel rooms, handed out dubious legal oversight contracts (as much as $52 million to a former U.S. attorney general, John Ashcroft) and made questionable loans ($46,000 to Michele Brown, a subordinate who doubled as a political adviser). He hired a friend’s son “over objections,” reported The Star-Ledger, “from nearly every assistant U.S. attorney who interviewed him.”

By the time he left office in 2008, it should have been clear to anyone who had closely followed his record that Mr. Christie was not the unblemished crusader against corruption that he made himself out to be. But that didn’t stop him from defeating the incumbent governor, Jon Corzine, a Democrat, the following year. As governor, Mr. Christie went viral for fighting teachers, vetoed a bill to ban gestation crates for pigs, pardoned gun traffickers, flirted with Tea Party extremists and canceled a Hudson River train tunnel project after lying about its cost.
The US Attorney scandal which was, basically, the Bushies deciding prosecutors should be making life difficult for Democrats and firing the ones who weren't, was an incredible abuse of power that most political reporters, at least initially, denied was happening. They ran interference!

Not my good sources! They wouldn't do that! Not the ones who made my career! Not MC Rove!