Christie campaigns for Grassley

Former NJ governor, GOP candidate speaks about Trump estate raid

The United States Department of Justice’s move on Thursday to unseal the search warrant application and inventory of items seized during Monday’s FBI raid at the home of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, was the right move, according to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The DOJ is investigating the former president for the removal of government documents from the White House and for possible violations of classified information laws. About a dozen boxes of documents were seized during the search at Trump’s Florida estate.

Earlier this week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, made a statement about the DOJ action.

“The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to the events on Monday,” McConnell said. “Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice should already have provided answers to the American people and must do so immediately.”

Christie, who also ran for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, spoke with The Messenger on Thursday ahead of a fundraising event for Sen. Chuck Grassley’s election campaign in Twin Lakes.

Just prior to Christie’s plane landing in Fort Dodge, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland held a brief press conference where he announced that the DOJ had filed a motion in the Southern District of Florida to unseal the warrant application for Monday’s search at Mar-a-Lago.

“If the accounts I was reading off of my phone are correct, he said that they had subpoenaed these things from Donald Trump in April,” Christie said. “Well, if that’s the case, if they’ve been subpoenaed in April and still not returned in August, that’s concerning. Because what it looks like is that there were a number of steps taken to more informally and less aggressively get the return of classified important documents from the government. Look, there’s a law against taking those away from the government and bringing them to your house for obvious reasons.”

Christie called the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago an “obviously very aggressive move” by the Justice Department, but said that there may have been no other options left.”

“And if it’s a last resort to retrieve classified information that belongs to the government that should never have been taken off the White House premises in the first place, then we’re going to have to see what the former president has to say about that,” he said.

When speaking to The Messenger on Thursday, Christie, also a former U.S. District Attorney, noted that search warrants are not normally released to the public, to protect the interests of the person or entity that was searched. He said that when Trump made the decision to make an announcement about the FBI’s raid — something the FBI and the DOJ did not do — that Trump signaled that he doesn’t care to have his privacy protected.

“So if that’s the case, then unseal it and let everybody see it,” Christie said. “I think it’s a good thing to do. I think it’s something that should be done.”

Thursday was the fourth campaign event Christie has headlined for the Iowa senator, Christie said.

“I have a lot of friends here in Iowa,” he said. “I’m happy to be back here to help them.”

Christie first met Grassley in 2010 when, as a new governor, Christie came to Iowa to campaign for Gov. Terry Brandstad.

“I’m a big supporter of his because he’s a guy who does his homework,” Christie said. “Works hard for the people of Iowa, speaks his mind, and I think those are the kind of people we need in Washington.”

Christie sees some big wins for the GOP in November’s midterm elections.

“I’m very optimistic that Republicans will win back the House of Representatives,” he said. “I think we’re going to flip a number of governorships across the country. I think Gov. Reynolds will be reelected overwhelmingly here in Iowa, and I think we have the chance to take over the Senate as well.”

Christie views a big GOP win in November as the way to stop what he described as “the crazy policies of the Biden Administration” on things like spending and taxation, lack of support for law enforcement, education and “runaway inflation.”

“I think that Republicans taking over both houses of Congress, and getting even more Republican governors across the country, will help to stop those policies in their tracks and allow people to have an opportunity to let the economy recover,” Christie said. “And have a new start in 2024.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today