S.A.: Well the truth of the matter is there are so many laws on the books that you can get anybody for anything if you want to. Now what is very very concerning here is when it comes to, and I have to link these two because of the players involved here, one of the port authority, I guess aides or port authority persons for lack of a better term, involved here is an individual who also is involved with a law firm that was being used to lobby on behalf of the Rockefeller Group.
Now the Rockefeller Group is trying to develop in Hoboken and he and his firm were out there lobbying for that group. Now what's going to be very interesting here is how the Feds use Bridgegate. Do they come at this individual and say listen, we know that there's probably no criminal activity here on Bridgegate, that there certainly things that were wrong, certainly things that shouldn't have been done this way, certainly the people of New Jersey and the people of New York shouldn't be held hostage to vendettas, but we're really interested over here, what can you tell me on Christie's involvement on Bridegate? And then slowly move them in to the withholding of the Sandy Hurricane funds.
That's what I think is very important here and that's what I think is going to be just like Blagojevich and the criminality portion of it is what they're going to use to develop other areas of corruption and Christie is going to have to sit down with his defense attorney and talk about all of these various areas. Now if I were representing Christie, there's two things I would do first. First thing I would do is have an open and honest conversation with him, if you can.
Well I've represented a number of politicians and that's one of the difficult tests is getting them to be open and honest with what's going on. Many of them don't understand how the Federal prosecutions work and how really the Feds can get you on anything, if they want to.
Second thing you have to do, in my opinion, because this is where the hook is, this is the problem in pay to play corruption investigations are, sit them down and go through his campaign contributions list for the last six to seven years. Anybody who gave a contribution or anybody who is related that gave a contribution to somebody who got a contract, the Feds are going to be looking at every single on of those contributions.
Every single one of the individuals who gave a contribution whether it's five dollars or fifty thousand dollars and that's where I think Christie is going to have to, at this point in time, now that this Hoboken Mayor has come out and said these other accusations, he's going to have to slow down, if we're talking legally here, not politically, try to be quiet on as much as he can, and sit down with a defense lawyer and figure out, were there contributions given here that look like pay to play politics.
Because now that this has come to light, he's going to have to answer every single question he can on whether or not this was pay to play.
R.K.: Now you mention Federal Prosecutions, how do Federal Prosecutions work in a case like Blagojevich or Christie?
S.A.: That's an excellent question. I have been doing this fifteen years and I have come to a real belief here that when it comes to investigating or should I say investigating crimes that haven't happened yet like when you're trying to set up a drug deal or you're trying to set up a political pay to play, the Feds are not very good at it. They bumble, they don't understand how things really work, these are people that come out of the highest and best law schools and they don't understand the ground game, but when it comes to investigating crimes that have already happened, there's nobody better than the FBI at doing that.
And that's why I think Blagojevich had such a problem with the investigations because they were only investigating crimes that had already taken place. Now the senate seat, well they got tapes on that issue, the senate seat was one of the problems that they had, was one of the things we hung them on in the trial because there were tapes that weren't being played that we had, because the Federal Government was setting these things up and I don't think they're very good at it, but on the other counts, that had already occurred, they had a very solid case, they had the paperwork down and we went through it and should I say they went through it in a very concise and effective way.
Christie's problem is, it looks to me like some of these things have already occurred and that's how the Federal Prosecution and the federal investigation is going to go. They're going to go back and get things you cannot change. They're going to go back and get emails like we've already seen the legislature doing in New Jersey.
They're going to go back and talk to people and investigate their way forward and because they have so many resources, because they have many of the best and brightest and also because nothing can be changed to effect what's already been done, he's got some real issues if there is a single pay-to-play or can even look like pay-to-play instance that he was aware of and if this governor, if this Mayor is telling the truth, he's got some real legal problems.
R.K.: There's also the case of the Hurricane Sandy ad campaign that was not competitively sourced and it looked more like an ad for him and his family.
S.A.: Now this may be a little hyper-technical and I don't want to be too technical on this, but the reason that is important is one of the things, when you're talking about wire fraud and mail fraud, that the government has to prove, is that there was, honest services were not given and one of the ways in which you prove that these were not honest services is, was there a gain to the individual who did the fraud?
Well that's what the Feds are going to try to develop if they're investigation this. Was the use of these ad campaigns, was the use of these pictures of him a benefit to Christie that resulted from the fraud. If so then you can prove up honest services. In Blagojevich one of the ways they did this was they said his wife receives payments from one of the other alleged co-conspirators and that was the personal benefit that the family received. Here they also said in Blagojevich that him trying to get this senate seat was a personal benefit to him because it paid a thousand dollars more than the governor's salary.
If you recall, they said Blagojevich wanted to trade the pointing of a senator for him to get head of HHS, Health and Human Services. If the governor, if the President would appoint him to be Health and Human Services Director he would give the President anybody that the President wanted, in this case it was Valerie Jarrett the spot of appointed Senator. Well the government said and the judge allowed that that was a personal benefit to Blagojevich even though it wasn't money, even though it wasn't campaign funds, even though it wasn't money in his pocket like a traditional bribe, that benefit helped him.