SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that he doesn’t see evidence of President Donald Trump obstructing justice through the statements of former FBI Director James Comey.
When asked during a transportation presentation at a South Brunswick car dealership if Comey’s released statements about President Trump asking the former FBI director to “let it go,” regarding the investigation of Michael Flynn indicated possible evidence of obstruction of justice, Christie, a Republican, simply answered “no.”
Prior to being elected governor in 2009, Christie served as a federal prosecutor.
Comey testified Thursday in front of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. saying that he made notes following some nine different conversations with President Trump, both before and after he took office in January.
Those conversations and notes, part of which were released in a seven-page statement ahead of his testimony on Wednesday, said that he felt Trump was “directing” him to end the investigation into associate Gen. Michael Flynn, saying “I hope you can let this go.”
During his televised testimony, Comey said he made the notes after the meetings because he thought Trump might not tell the truth about the conversations.
Christie said he read the statement, but had only heard part of the live testimony while driving to South Brunswick for the presentation.
“[There was] no reason to question any of [his statement],” Christie said. “Everybody hears, in those conversations, what they want to hear. From reading [the statement], it sounded very much like Jim [Comey] to me. The Jim I’ve known over the years.”
Christie said the statement reflected how “precise and exact” Comey would have written down his recollection of the meetings with Trump.
“It didn’t seem to me to be anything [in the statement] that would rise anywhere near to any legal violation,” Christie said. “The President is not a lawyer, he is not someone who has ever been involved in government before.”
Christie said that Trump “does not adhere” to the customary or traditional way those in government, lawyers, or prosecutors speak to each other and that he is now “getting and education” publicly on how that works.
“I’ve been listening to Donald Trump for 15 years and nothing that Jim Comey put into his memo yesterday shocked me to hear coming out of Donald Trump’s mouth,” he said. “As a [former] prosecutor, obstruction is a very difficult thing to prove.”
Christie said a key to prove that crime is the “intent” of the suspected obstructionist.
He then said that Trump believes he is innocent and wants “all the facts to get out” about suspected Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“He wants to get to the bottom of this,” Christie said. “I think he would benefit from all the facts getting out.”
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