Washington — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is running for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, said former President Donald Trump put himself in “severe legal trouble” in the former president’s alleged mishandling of classified documents.

“We would not be here if Donald Trump had simply returned the documents the dozens of times the government asked him to return them, the time that the grand jury served the subpoena for them,” Christie told “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “He waited, waited and waited, defied the government and then wound up having his house raided.” 

“We would not be here if Donald Trump had simply returned the documents” when the government asked him to return them, and “the time that the grand jury served the subpoena for them,” Christie told “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “He waited, waited and waited, defied the government and then wound up having his house raided.” 

Trump is accused of illegally retaining sensitive national security documents after leaving the White House and obstructing efforts to retrieve them. He has been charged with 37 felony counts related to his handling of classified documents that, according to the indictment, contained information on U.S. nuclear programs, potential vulnerabilities of the U.S. and its allies to a military attack and plans for potential retaliation in response to an attack, among other things.

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Chris Christie on “Face the Nation,” June 18, 2023.

CBS News


While some 2024 Republican candidates have accused the Biden administration of weaponizing the Justice Department against Trump — and some have even said that they would pardon him — Christie said Trump’s alleged conduct is “very disturbing” and not that of someone who should be president again. 

“We’ve got to have a full trial here and a fair one,” he said. “The former president is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but the conduct in there is deeply disturbing.” 

Christie, who announced his second presidential campaign earlier this month and was once a close Trump ally, has come out swinging against the former president. 

“He’s failed over and over again,” Christie argued, mentioning how Trump failed to build the complete wall he repeatedly promised along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as the former president’s failure to wipe out the federal deficit. 

Christie also poked at Trump claiming he hires the best people, only to sling insults at them later. 

“He said that he would bring only the best and brightest people in the government. Yet you watch him as he belittles everyone who disagreed with him that he brought in,” Christie said. “Now, which one was it? Was he right when he called them all those things, which means he didn’t pick the very best.”

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