Well here it very well may look like one of the benefits to Christie was that he is trying to run for President. He wants to go out here and do this, the ad campaign shows he and his family in a very positive light, and that was the benefit to cause him to commit these frauds and that's one of the things they're going to have to prove and that's one of the things that you can be certain the government is going to look at.
R.K.: Now, he's got the insulation of a crew of people surrounding him so that he may not have actually had sign off on anything personally. Does that protect him?
S.A.: Well as a defense lawyer I can tell you that certainly one of the areas that if he ends up being indicted or just during the course of the investigation can sink or save him. I don't know, I can't tell you truthfully because I don't know the individuals personally involved and I don't know what they're saying to the Federal Government as they're investigating but it can save him or sink him.
The reason I say that is even if he, let's suppose Christie didn't know anything about this and these individuals acted on their own. Let's say for the sake of argument that's true, then those individuals can save him. They say look we did these things ourselves, the governor never knew these things, and while they look bad I don't care how it looks this is the absolute truth. If fifteen of fifteen people that they subpoena or bring in to the grand jury say that and there's no evidence to the contrary then it can save him, no question about it.
He is surrounded himself with people who did bad things but also didn't apprise him of what was going on. But the opposite is true too, it only really takes one of them to break the chain down. If one of them comes forward and says listen, he and I got together on this and discussed this. He and I, he always told me he's not going to sign anything, to keep it away from him, but he knew what was going on, that can start the domino effect and all those other individuals can come forward and say the same thing.
Now because of the pressure of facing federal indictment, because of the pressure of going to jail, those individuals come and testify against him, that's even more powerful than if he signed off on certain things because now you have individuals who had these conversations with him who are going to testify to those conversations and it looks suspicious. As I have learned as a criminal defense attorney many times what looks suspicious is much more important than the actual physical evidence in and of itself because you can explain away a lot of these things but circumstances are a very tough case to beat because most folks believe in the principle and when they come and sit on a jury they have it, that if it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, well heck it must be a duck.
R.K.: So you have got these people who surround Christie like David Wildstein who has already pleaded the fifth, how will the Feds use these people to get to Christie?
S.A.: Okay. That's a very important question but it needs to be broken down just a little bit. We don't know, and I want to be clear on this, we don't know if Christie did anything and I am not going to say he did, but let's assume for the sake of argument, just for this discussion that he did, this is how they'll use Wildman.
Wildman has already been very clear about this. He came forward, Wildstein I think is what it is. Came forward and said listen I will stand on the fifth amendment. I have a right not to incriminate myself. However if you give me immunity I'll tell you everything I know. Now I am here in Chicago which is been considered for a long time one of the most corrupt political states and cities in America and I have said this over and over and over again, while I am a criminal defense lawyer, I myself have defended the Governor Blagojevich and mayors here, I am tired of political corruption and so the way I would handle it if I was the US Attorney in this matter is I would start offering out immunity like candy to a baby.
If you truly believe that Christie is involved, first you have to sit down and look at the information you have and at some point you're going to have to have either absolute evidence or use your gut. Do I believe Christie is involved here and is this something that I want to root out? If you take the stance that yes Christie is involved here you go forward and you start offering immunity just from the things that you're telling us.
What a lot of people don't understand is that when you're offered immunity there is no more fifth amendment You're not allowed to stand on the fifth amendment The only thing an individual can do is go to court and refuse to answer and then be held in contempt and go to jail. Once you have been offered immunity you cannot not answer the questions without being in violation of the law and there's very few times that people do that that they just refuse to answer.
So I would, and I think this very well may happen, is that you start offering immunity down below so that you can start working your way up the chain and if they believe that Christie is involved, and I got to tell you, and I think this is why the last twenty four hours have been so important to this investigation, once a Mayor of Hoboken comes out and starts saying that there has been a connection between Sandy Hurricane funds and other projects, that in and of itself is a quid pro quo and is in violation of the RICO act or should I say a violation of wire and mail fraud because they're going to just use the check that comes in from Sandy as the wire fraud, he's got to believe, the US Attorney out there has got to believe there is some connection between criminal activity and the Christie administration since it was the Lieutenant Governor who allegedly did those things.
He'll start offering immunity down below to see what they know and build the case up. That's what I think there is nobody better than the Feds than doing; going below and building up. And if that's the case, which I think is how they'll handle this, one of those guys is going to get immunity and once that happens, once that occurs, the chips are going to start falling, the dominoes are going to start falling and getting in line with a serious criminal investigation.
Now the last thing I'll say on that, and I don't think the Feds will do this, they did it in Blagojevich and if you recall this, this is the one count I lost, I didn't lose any of the other counts on Blagojevich when I represented him, the one count I did lose though was lying to an FBI Agent. A lot of people don't know this but the statute is ten-oh-one and that's what we call it in the business, ten-oh-one is lying to a Federal Agent.
That's a crime in and of itself. While we argued and argued and argued the first amendment and you have a right to lie as long as you're not under oath, that argument has failed. If a Federal Agent comes to you and you tell them something that is not true knowingly, that in and of itself is a crime. Well what happened in two thousand and five and two thousand and six with Blagojevich is the Feds came to him and sat down and his lawyers allowed him to do this, talked to them and answered question after question after question.
The first one was not recorded, the second one was. He was indicted for telling lies regarding his campaign fund during the one that was note recorded. If I were the US Attorney and seeing that I know how politicians are, they just have to talk, I would offer the chance for Christie to come in and answer all questions, now he's going to do one of two things. He's either going to turn that down or say yes I'll do it. Now the chances that he turns that down because he's trying to run for political office, heck right this minute he's in Florida trying to get campaign funds, so you've got to know where his head is, he is truly a politician.