Obstruction of justice. Intentional interference in interstate commerce. Securities fraud. These are but a few of the "embarrassment of riches" that U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman has at his disposal "when it comes to choosing which charges to level
Left unmentioned is that similarly vague statutes, under which most any behavior can be construed as criminal, are at the disposal of every prosecutor if they choose to go after you.
Any American who seriously thinks they go a single day without doing something a prosecutor couldn't charge them for is deluding themselves.
That part is clear enough. The thing that startles me is that I had assumed Christie and his minions would be above the law. Good to be wrong sometimes. Go Fishman!
Yes, but we look forward, not back. I expect to see these guys not in prison, but on Meet the Press, until my son is old and grey.
I may be getting too cynical, but I'd bet that this a-hole (amongst many equally corrupt politico-scum) never sees a single day behind bars.
I'd love to be wrong, but this guy has connections, and money, and that means he owns the legal system to some degree. Unless they have written (and I doubt he's that stupid) or secretly recorded evidence, I'm betting that this guy will sell out his underlings who he ordered to do the criminal activity with the usual politician "I had no idea that my bad bad bad underlings were up to no good!" routine.
These are not vague, arbitray statutes. The laws in question are quite old, and include such gems as "federal charges of extortion under the Hobbs Act", "securities fraud and conspiracy to commit same", and "intentional interference in interstate commerce and -- in the cover-up that ensued -- obstruction of justice". These are not non-crime "crimes" that people commit every day by a long shot.
The reason Christie is at risk of going down while the banksters and other big-shots have not in recent years are complicated, but key are the facts that Christie has a lot of enemies, esp. among democrats as he's a nasty shit, that the crimes are easy to understand, and probably the most important one -- a U.S. attorney was assigned to the case. I know it sounds ridiculous, but in the case of the housing bubble and the massive mortgage and securities fraud at the heart of it, the FBI and Justice Department internally redefined the fraud to only exist where a homeowner lied on her loan application. This is what happens when you partner with the Mortgage Bankers Association, as the FBI did, to root out mortgage fraud. It would be funny if it wasn't so damned tragic. There are lots of reasons why the banksters still have gone down and I don't want to oversimplify, but another important reason is that when politicians commit crimes they don't have a corporation to hide behind. But the main reason they've consistently avoided prosecution is Obama. He's a better friend to these fucks than W ever was. Its really that simple. He has protected them at every step of the way, for crimes related to and committed during and after the housing bubble right up to the drug cartel money laundering cases of last year.
I can see that many people are frustrated that this is taking so long. Just remember it took three years to finally bring down Rod Blagojevich. Many people were saying the same things about him. He'll get off, everybody does it, what's the big deal. 14 years behind bars, that is the big deal.
Never give up hope. Heres a short list of British politicians who went to prison for things they did during their political careers.
I keep hoping I will see Tony Blair added to this list as well.
No betting allowed. If you followed the story you would know he's already doing exactly that - but some of the underlings have written evidence it seems.
The delicious irony here is that Christie was the worst kind of federal prosecutor. No crime was too small or insignificant to warrant prosecution, provided the intended target had sufficient media value. Christie would then have his media lapdogs trumpet the "significance" of his zealous overprosecutions.
Christie's narcissism and sociopathy virtually assure that this story will become even more interesting. A variety of factors, including his heart finally succumbing to his massive weight, may keep him from ever seeing the inside of a federal prison, but in many ways Christie reminds me of another corrupt NJ prosecutor, Nick Bissell, who took his own life in lieu of facing the music.
Wow, for a fraction of a second there, it seemed like this guy might've made a viable run at the presidency*.
*Yes, yes, I know he's not nearly Jeebus-y enough to make it through the primary process, but he would've pulled in a lot of independent voters who used to vote R.
That's my governor!
By re-routing the Port Authority funds to local New Jersey roadway repairs, Christie, who took office in 2010, was able to keep a campaign promise not to raise taxes. The diversion of funds allowed him to avoid raising gasoline taxes to refill the depleted coffers of the state’s transportation trust fund.
But the justification for the diversion may have constituted fraud. The SEC’s rule 10b-5, issued pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act, authorizes the agency to investigate fraud in the securities markets, including in the offering of tax-exempt bonds. Similar laws apply in New York state.
It's too bad the person you have running your Facebook account chose to make a fat joke to promote the story:
"Chris Christie due to face charges. World's tiniest violin plays for one of America's largest governors."
I expect better out of you, Boing Boing.
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