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Monday, August 17, 2015

Christie: How would the media have reacted if I’d deleted the Bridgegate e-mails?

Christie: How would the media have reacted if I’d deleted the Bridgegate e-mails?

by Ed Morrissey

With a number of new revelations coming out today in the Saga of the Secret Server, Chris Christie got an opportunity to start off the morning on CNN’s New Day with a two-target slam. Christie did two segments with Alyson Camerota and Chris Cuomo and hit a number of issues, but Christie landed a big slam on Hillary Clinton and the national political media as well. Some media outlets practically turned themselves into Bridgegate Broadcasting Network during the short-lived scandal in New Jersey, in which Christie was later exonerated.

Imagine, Christie says, what the reaction from news outlets would have been had he only used private e-mail as governor — and then conveniently deleted them all when investigators started asking questions? No one would be airing Christie’s rebuttals that it was all about politics, that’s for sure. Heck, they didn’t even air that then, without Christie committing obstruction of Congress and obstruction of justice:
CAMEROTA: Let’s look at the Democratic side of the race. Because we have — the new poll shows that Bernie Sanders is gaining on Hillary Clinton. She’s at 49 percent, he’s at 30 percent in the most recent poll. Do you think that that is directly tied to the e-mail issue with Hillary Clinton? Or is there something else going on with her campaign?
CHRISTIE: I think it’s two things. I think the first thing is that Mrs. Clinton doesn’t answer any questions. She doesn’t answer questions. And you see the most recent stuff she was saying yesterday, trying to say that everything raised about her is about politics. And it’s not. If she would just answer questions directly — why did you have a private server? Now, I was a U.S. Attorney for seven years working for the federal government. They made it clear from minute one all official business is done on your government e-mail.
CAMEROTA: She says all of her predecessors also used private servers.
CHRISTIE: Not exclusively. Not exclusively. I remember, I had a private e-mail account, but I didn’t do my business on a private e-mail account. She did everything on that account. And then, she — what most people are concerned about it, she gets the server cleaned. I mean, why not just answer that question instead of talking all the time like she does on television now about, ooh, the politics and the Republicans. It’s not about politics.
CAMEROTA: What do you think the answer is?
CHRISTIE: I think she didn’t want people to see what was on that e-mail server.
CHRISTIE: Well, that’s a good question, isn’t it? And she needs to answer that too. Why did you wipe it clean, Mrs. Clinton? Why? I mean, seriously.
Let’s just have an analogy here. Can you imagine if after the bridge investigation began, I came out and said, oh, by the way, I’ve done all of my business as governor on a private server and I have deleted now 30,000 of those e-mails, but trust me, none of it had to do with the bridge. Give me a break. I mean, she wants to talk about being held to a different standard? What she’s doing is refusing to be transparent. I think that’s the first problem with her polling numbers. Secondly, the problem is she’s not speaking to the concerns that the American people really have ,because she won’t speak to her national security record and a failed national security record. They’re making people feel anxious in this country. And so if Mrs. Clinton starts to answer questions, interact with people, maybe her poll numbers would be different.
Chris Cuomo then tries a different line of attack, implying that this has to be political because it only came up after she began running for President. Christie stuffs that emphatically:
CUOMO: … And if it were so bad, why did it never come up until she decided to run for president?
CHRISTIE: Well, first of all, — again, exclusively, Chris. I mean, everybody has their own — in today’s world, everybody has their own private e-mail account, even if they’re working in government. And they use their private e-mail account for their personal issues and their family issues and those type of things. She was exclusively using it. She didn’t use her government e-mail account. She wanted every communication within her control while she was the highest ranking cabinet member in the United States. Why didn’t it come up before? Because no one knew. And the people that did know were part of the team.
CUOMO: Well, all the people getting the e-mails —
CHRISTIE: Oh, they were part of the team, Chris. They were part of the team. And God forbid we question Secretary Clinton. Well, now she’s running for president; she’s going to be questioned. And you know what? I did this for seven years as U.S. Attorney — there is ample evidence here to criminally investigate her conduct.
And we haven’t even talked about the fact that any number of these e-mails may have contained classified information, which is clearly against the law. Let’s remember this, David Petraeus was prosecuted and convicted for this. Back in her husband’s administration, you had folks that were prosecuted and convicted for this. Why would she be any different?
Why didn’t it come up before she began running for President? She began preparing for a near-certain run with her book tour last spring, a tour that flopped spectacularly but was clearly intended to set up the presidential campaign. The House Select Committee on Benghazi only discovered the private e-mail accounts in August 2014, and Hillary and the State Department didn’t acknowledge the exclusive use of that private server until much later after that. During that period Hillary was meeting with donors, transitioning staff from the Clinton Foundation to the exploratory committee, and so on. The window that Cuomo postulates is entirely non-existent

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