Chris Christie said in an interview last year that crimes he prosecuted against Charles Kushner, the father of Jared Kushner, were among the “most loathsome, disgusting crimes” he investigated when he served as U.S. attorney in New Jersey.
On Wednesday, President Donald Trump pardoned Kushner along with 28 other convicted felons, including Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.
Kushner pleaded guilty in 2005 to charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and witness tampering. He admitted to making more than $500,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Democratic campaigns, according to The New York Times.
Christie, the former New Jersey governor and Trump confidant, prosecuted the case as U.S. attorney in New Jersey.
Kushner admitted to attempting to intimidate William Schulder, his brother-in-law, from cooperating with prosecutors against him in the investigation. Kushner hired a prostitute to seduce Schulder, and videotaped their tryst. Kushner had video of the encounter sent to his sister.
Kushner, now 66, served 14 months of a two-year sentence. He was released from prison on Aug. 25, 2006.
The White House said Kushner’s philanthropic activity since leaving prison in 2006 “overshadows” his conviction.
Christie’s prosecution of Kushner has caused bad blood between him and Jared, who serves as one of Trump’s top White House advisers. Christie, a Republican, addressed the beef with Kushner in his recent book and offered his thoughts on Charles Kushner, a billionaire real estate tycoon.
“I just think that it was so obvious he had to be prosecuted,” Christie said in an interview on May 1, 2019, on PBS’s “Firing Line.”
“I mean, if a guy hires a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law and videotapes it and then sends the videotape to his sister to attempt to intimidate her from testifying before a grand jury, do I really need any more justification than that?” (RELATED: Chris Christie Says He’s Open To Running Against Trump In 2024)
“I mean, it’s one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes that I prosecuted when I was U.S. Attorney,” said Christie, adding that that district “had some loathsome and disgusting crime going on there.”
“But I just laid out the facts. I had a moral and an ethical obligation to bring that prosecution.”
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