Christie: Trump pushing himself toward ‘self-inflicted indictment’
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Sunday said former President Trump is pushing himself toward a “self-inflicted indictment” with his combative public statements on his legal battle with the Justice Department.
“The more you absolutely antagonize with nonsense arguments on television that your lawyers won’t make in court — because they’re afraid they’ll be sanctioned if they do because they have no evidence — you’re pushing yourself closer to a self-inflicted indictment,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week” with host George Stephanopoulos.
“And I don’t want to see that happen just because I don’t think it’s good for our country, but he’s pushing himself in that direction.”
Christie’s comments come after Trump’s legal team lost its fight to block the Justice Department from reviewing the classified materials that FBI agents seized from his Mar-a-Lago residence last month.
Agents recovered over 100 classified documents and dozens of empty folders marked as classified, taken from the White House to the Palm Beach, Fl., resort after Trump had left office.
Trump has suggested the agents may have planted evidence during the search, while also claiming that he declassified some of the documents — though his legal team has declined to provide any evidence in court showing that documents were declassified.
Trump in a recent interview with Fox News said that “if you’re the president of the United States, you can declassify just by saying it’s declassified, even by thinking about it” and that he thought declassification “doesn’t have to be a process.”
His legal team pushed for the appointment of a special master to review the documents. One of its picks for the role, Judge Raymond Dearie, held his first hearing last weeks.
However, both Dearie and appellate judges have pushed back on Trump’s claims of declassification.
“I think these are all self-inflicted wounds by Donald Trump,” Christie said Sunday. “You know, one of the things that I always say to clients are, you know, don’t out loud fight with the Department of Justice. Like, you know, we’ll fight in court and do the things we need to do.”
“He’s doing the exact opposite,” he added. “His lawyers aren’t fighting any of this in court. They’re really not. They’re not putting forward any of these arguments. He’s putting forward all these arguments on television.”
Christie said he still doesn’t think that the former president will be charged, but noted that “there comes a point where prosecutors are human too. And you want to keep daring them, they may just actually do it.”