There was this once time where Chris Christie stayed within Department of Justice guidelines — in 2007 when two Democratic Assemblymen were arrested on corruption charges 61 days before the general election.
Christie, who was U.S. Attorney at the time, said today that “there’s a rule at Justice that 60 days before an election, you do nothing about somebody who is going to be on the ballot.” His comments came in a discussion about then-FBI Director James Comey reopening the probe on Hillary Clinton’s e-mails eleven days before the 2016 presidential election.
The two legislators, Mims Hackett (D-Orange) and Alfred Steele (D-Paterson) were both up for re-election in the November 2007. Facing a September 17 deadline to withdraw – a meaningless date that New Jersey courts typically extend – both assemblymen initially declined to resign even though Gov. Jon Corzine and Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts told them to so. For a moment, it looked like an obscure West Orange Republican, Mark Meyerowitz, could make a play for the mostly-suburban Essex seat.
They wound up resigning four days after their September 6 arrest, and were replaced by Mila Jasey (D-South Orange) and Elease Evans (D-Paterson).