Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie argued that the Southern District of New York – and not the special counsel’s Russia investigation – presents more of a “problem and a threat” to President Donald Trump.
“I always said that (special counsel) Bob Mueller is not what should concern the President or the White House. That’s the Southern District of New York,” Christie, who led Trump’s transition team, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo Thursday night.
Christie, a former federal prosecutor, argued that the SDNY has no limit on the scope of their investigation, unlike Mueller’s investigation.
He also told CNN that Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen and Trump’s deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, who pleaded guilty to two criminal charges in Mueller’s investigation, could serve as “two tour guides that can take them through the Trump business and personal life.”
Christie pointed to Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee Wednesday in which Cohen said he was in “constant contact” with the SDNY “regarding ongoing investigations.”
Christie said he’s confident that the SDNY is building a case to go after those around Trump who may have committed crimes and against Trump himself for when he leaves office.
“Statute of limitations on most of this stuff, my guess is, would not run,” Christie told Cuomo.
The former Republican governor added that he does not believe the SDNY has a case against the President “at the moment.”
During his hearing Wednesday before the House Oversight committee, Cohen suggested the SDNY is examining a conversation he had with Trump in spring 2018, within two months of the FBI having executed search warrants on Cohen’s home, hotel room and office.
He was also asked whether he was aware of any other wrongdoing or illegal acts regarding Trump that hadn’t been discussed yet.
“Yes, and again those are part of the investigation that’s currently being looked at by the Southern District of New York,” Cohen said.
CNN previously reported that federal prosecutors in New York were known to have been examining whether any Trump Organization executives violated campaign-finance laws as part of the scheme to reimburse Cohen for payments and had been conducting an investigation of the Trump inaugural committee.
CNN’s Erica Orden contributed to this report.