Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie compared Donald Trump and his allies to the infamous Corleone family in “The Godfather” saga — but “with no experience.”
“It’s pretty brazen,” Christie said of the new obstruction charges brought against the former president while appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “These guys were acting like the Corleones with no experience.”
The new charges in the classified documents case, filed by special counsel Jack Smith last week, allege that Trump attempted to destroy evidence at his Mar-a-Lago estate after receiving a subpoena, accusing the former President of pressuring maintenance employee Carlos De Oliveira to delete surveillance footage alongside his valet Walt Nauta, who Christie likened to Fredo Corleone, the character played by John Cazale in “The Godfather” saga.
“The day after a grand jury subpoena is served, which includes the surveillance tapes, they go down to Mar-a-Lago and Walt Nauta appears to be the Fredo of this family,” Christie continued. “They send him to go down there, and they sent him to go and delete it.”
“This is bad stuff,” Christie said. “You can’t say there was no underlying potential crime here — this was the withholding of confidential classified information from the government after 18 months of asking Donald Trump to return it voluntarily.”
The former federal prosecutor went on to note that not only did Trump not return the classified documents voluntarily, but he also allegedly “lied about having it.” Christie also urged CNN anchor Kasie Hunt to consider the “potential impact on our troops and our intelligence officers by having this stuff just laying around and him willy nilly showing it to whoever he feels like to be a show-off on the back deck at Mar-a-Lago.”
“This is not what a former president should be doing and it’s certainly not something that someone who wants to be president should be doing,” Christie said.
Christie, who kicked off his second presidential campaign in June and is seeking the Republican bid alongside Trump, former VP Mike Pence and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, among others, also slammed Trump’s previous defense tactic of saying he could declassify any confidential documents as President.
“The ‘I can declassify whatever I want’ defense is not a defense,” Christie said. “You can declassify whatever you want when you’re president — you can’t do it by thinking about it, you can’t do it by mind-melding with the documents — there’s a process you have to go through to declassify and he knows that.”
You can watch the full video below.