Breaking down Jared Kushner’s Chris Christie vendetta.
Gov. Chris Christie spent half a year planning Trump’s transition, and in half a week, the work has been largely undone.
Late Tuesday, news broke that the governor’s choice to lead national security planning for the transition, former House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers, had been fired by Kushner and Trump.
A report by Bloomberg News cites one reason for the shakeup as animus between the president-elect’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Christie, who jailed Kushner’s father for witness tampering and other crimes when he served as U.S. attorney for New Jersey.
In 2004 through 2005, Christie successfully prosecuted Kushner’s father, Charles, on charges of tax evasion and illegal campaign contributions. Charles Kushner was also convicted of witness tampering after he hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, who was cooperating with the federal government’s case against him, and even sending the videotape of their tryst to his sister.
In a 2005 pre-sentencing memo to the presiding judge, Christie sought the maximum sentence, called Charles Kushner’s entrapment ploy “fiendish,” and Kushner got the maximum sentence of two years in federal prison.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller told Bloomberg the reason for the changes to the transition staff was Trump’s desire to have “his vice president-elect helping to build what the administration is going to look like.”
The departure of Rogers comes on the heels of the governor’s sudden demotion from transition planning chairman Friday, and the removal of Christie’s former chief of staff, Rich Bagger, and longtime ally William Palatucci as general counsel to the transition.