(The Hill) – Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a GOP presidential candidate for 2024, said the details of the federal indictment against former President Trump are “devastating.”
“The fact is that these facts are devastating,” Christie told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview on Friday.
Christie noted that the indictment accuses Trump of directing what documents were to be packed in boxes upon leaving the White House at the end of his presidency, that they should be sent to Mar-a-Lago and where they would be placed while they were at Mar-a-Lago.
He said Trump is also accused of directing the documents to be taken with him to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, when he went there during the summer and continuing to “stonewall” investigators who were trying to get the documents returned to government recordkeepers.
“The bigger issue for our country is, is this the type of conduct that we want from someone who wants to be president of the United States?” Christie said.
The indictment alleges that the documents Trump had in his possession at Mar-a-Lago included information about the U.S. nuclear program, defense capabilities and potential vulnerabilities to attacks. It states that the unauthorized disclosure of this information could put national security, foreign relations, the safety of the military, human sources and intelligence-gathering methods at risk.
Christie previously said in a tweet after Trump announced Thursday that he had been indicted that the public should wait to see the facts laid out in the charging document before making a judgement, but no one is above the law.
He said the indictment is “very evidence-filled,” making clear the prosecutors have tape recordings, electronic text messages, emails and testimony of dozens of witnesses who have provided the information.
He said Trump and Walt Nauta, one of Trump’s aides who allegedly took part in moving the boxes around Mar-a-Lago and has also been indicted, seem to be the only individuals involved who have not cooperated with the government investigation.
Christie said he expects the number of Republicans willing to denounce Trump for his actions will grow as people have more of an opportunity to read the indictment.
“The facts that are laid out here are damning in terms of Donald Trump’s conduct, and that’s what I think we as a party should be looking at,” he said.