2024 GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie joined The Brian Kilmeade Show and discussed Donald Trump’s indictment, whether he would pardon the former President if he is convicted, why Trump is dead wrong using the Presidential Records Act as a defense and if he will sign the pledge to support the GOP nominee.

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Rough transcript

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:00] Would be right now to expand on that and who’s not afraid to tell me when he thinks I’m wrong. But even though I know I’m right, but I let him go it. Governor Chris Christie is here. He’s a 2024 GOP presidential candidate as of last week. And he just fresh off a town hall on another network. John. Chris, in the bottom of the hour, a deep thinker, funny guy on stage and on film. Governor, great to see you.

Chris Christie [00:00:23] Good to be with you, Brian. Thanks for having.

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:24] Me. So how’s the first week been?

Chris Christie [00:00:26] It’s been great. I mean, the energy has been really good. I’ve been everywhere. But in New Hampshire, as you said to the town hall last night on a competing network and Monday night, rather, it went really well. And I and I was in D.C. yesterday doing the Ruthless podcast and a couple of other things. So we’re all over the place in the first week and the response from the public by donors and everything else has been really good.

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:50] So I want to bring it to President Trump because he didn’t win the speech. Number one. Were you surprised by that?

Chris Christie [00:00:56] I’m always surprised when he doesn’t wing it.

Brian Kilmeade [00:00:57] Because I thought I was going to be the magic marker. Here’s a few points. And he was in front of a lot of people that liked him on his the eve of his birthday after becoming the first president to be indicted or indicted on federal charges. I want you to hear a little bit of what he said. But for as president, the law that applies to this case is not the Espionage Act, but very simply the Presidential Records Act, which is not even mentioned in this ridiculous 44 page indictment under the Presidential Records Act, which is civil, not criminal. I had every right to have these documents. Your thoughts on his his stance? Is he right about espionage?

Chris Christie [00:01:39] He’s dead wrong.

Brian Kilmeade [00:01:40] Even on espionage.

Chris Christie [00:01:41] Yeah, he’s dead wrong, Prime, because specifically in the Presidential Records Act, they exclude agency documents. They exclude CIA documents. The exclude DOD documents. They exclude them specifically. He couldn’t be more wrong.

Brian Kilmeade [00:01:58] On the Presidential Records Act.

Chris Christie [00:01:59] The Espionage No Presidential Records Act does not cover national security and national intelligence documents. It covers the other documents. He only got indicted on national security and intelligence documents. He is dead wrong. And so he puts up this baloney argument. And that’s what that was. That’s like I took all these documents and kept them illegally. And but I want you to know that this other thing is civil and I’m allowed to keep whatever I want. Well, it’s not he doesn’t get to keep intelligence documents. Those are the property of the United States government, not of any particular president.

Brian Kilmeade [00:02:41] So how do you feel about them flipping his attorney, Evan Corcoran, and saying, hey, by the way, you got to turn on your client? Have you ever done that?

Chris Christie [00:02:50] Have I ever turned on my client?

Brian Kilmeade [00:02:51] No. Have you ever when you were a prosecutor, did you ever did you ever get the attorney to testify against your client.

Chris Christie [00:02:57] Twice because of exactly what they did with having Corcoran? There was the crime fraud exception. If the attorney is involved in assisting the client, commit a crime or a fraud, they no longer have privilege.

Brian Kilmeade [00:03:11] I talked to two attorneys. One doesn’t like Trump. One is was working for him. Who said that they’re vulnerable there, that they found a judge that gave him the ability to flip. Corcoran, give him that information, the text message, the electronics, and said that’s where they should look to get everything Corcoran gave thrown out.

Chris Christie [00:03:29] Well, I’m sure they’re going to make every motion in the book they can. That’s what defense lawyers do and that’s what they should do because the government should be held to the standard of having to meet the law specifically. But I will tell you this, Evan Corcoran was worried about what he was asking, what Trump was asking him to do. That’s why he made those voice memos. Lawyers don’t do that, Brian. You don’t make a voice memo, contemporaneous voice memo about every meeting you have with a client. You don’t do it. You only do it if you’re trying to memorialize what’s being asked of you because you believe that the client is asking you to do something unethical or illegal, which was clearly based only on what Evan Corcoran has said, what Donald Trump was doing. And let’s go back to Presidential Records Act. Everyone who’s listening needs to understand this. If you’re talking about documents that he’s created that Donald Trump has created, notes of his or that non-national security staff is created, then that’s covered by the Presidential Records Act. But the presidential daily brief, the highest intelligence briefing that a president gets every day, that is not the president’s work product. That’s not this document. It’s created by the CIA. Right. By the NSA, not covered by the Presidential Records Act. And by the way, that’s why the Presidential Records Act is not mentioned in the indictment, because they’re not charging him under that. They’re charging him because he kept intelligence documents that he is not legally allowed to keep.

Brian Kilmeade [00:04:53] Does it blow you away that there’s a system in place for any president over the last 25 years where the documents could be so accessible and movable to whether you own a Doral or Bedminster? And does it blow you away that you could have a bunch of interns pack up boxes and in full view at two in the afternoon loaded onto a helicopter? I mean, if they’re that important, I cannot believe we got to this point.

Chris Christie [00:05:17] But let me ask you a question, Brian. He was president United States at the time. Who was going to tell him? He couldn’t.

Brian Kilmeade [00:05:24] Everybody know. But he was in there. A system in place.

Chris Christie [00:05:26] It’s there is a system in place where he’s told what he can keep and what he can’t. He disregarded it. And if you’re like an aide to the president, United States, and he says, hey, I’ve gone through that, those are mine. I want to keep them, put them on the helicopter. What are you going to do? Say, sir, I’d like to have the opportunity to review that, to see if you, the president, United States complying with the law. Here’s the problem, Brian. Donald Trump has turned everything on its head. And what we have here is something he did as alleged in the indictment that was clearly not right. And he’s not looking to blame everybody else. It’s his fault he made these judgments.

Brian Kilmeade [00:06:02] So right now, we saw Nikki Haley come out and say, listen, for whatever reason that she had, I would pardon if I get the nomination, I become president. We saw Vivek Ramaswamy said, the first thing I’m telling you right now, everybody should follow my lead and pardon the former president when I become president. We know that Asa Hutchinson has no interest in that. If Governor Christie gets the nomination and if you get the nomination, you’re going to win the general. Yes, sir. I think it’s the harder for you to get the nomination. So if you get it, would you pardon the president?

Chris Christie [00:06:34] I think it’s impossible to answer that right now. And be fair, remember, the pardon power is the power to say if you if somebody thinks someone’s been treated unfairly, if you think there’s not been a fair trial, you have to consider all those things. I can’t imagine if he gets a fair trial that I would pardon him. I can’t imagine that I would remember. The other problem, to accept a pardon, you have to admit your guilt. To accept a pardon, you have to say, yes, I was wrong and I. And I accept the pardon. I can’t imagine Donald Trump would ever do that.

Brian Kilmeade [00:07:06] That’s so interesting, because life in prison or accepting him saying he’s convicted, by the way, and.

Chris Christie [00:07:12] He will not get life in prison, I mean, you know.

Brian Kilmeade [00:07:14] Well, ten years could be life. I mean, he’s 77, right?

Chris Christie [00:07:16] But I don’t judges have broad discretion on this. And what you’re what people are reporting in the press loves to do this is report the maximums, right. Under the statute, the sentencing guidelines are less than that. And, in fact, a judge will use, in this case her discretion to decide, because at that point, he probably would be by the time this is resolved, he turns 77 today. Happy birthday, Mr. President. He’ll be 78 years old. All of that will come into effect if he’s convicted. And how he would be sentenced. So. All right. You know.

Brian Kilmeade [00:07:53] I but overall, I’m going to take a step back. You live the law. I’m alleviated by the fact I did not go to law school. Congratulations to you. I was at sports phone making $12,000 a year. We all make decisions.

Chris Christie [00:08:05] We do.

Brian Kilmeade [00:08:05] Right. I love the job, by the way. Yes. I felt like I was overpaid. Nine, seven, 61313.

Chris Christie [00:08:10] By the way, I loved sports phone and spent a lot of my hard earned money on sports.

Brian Kilmeade [00:08:15] For sports, it predated all sports radio. Why were you not working with me? Because you’re such a sports guy.

Chris Christie [00:08:21] I’m telling you, if I. If I had found a way to work at sports phone, I would have. I don’t know if I could speak fast enough to do it. You’re a fast talker.

Brian Kilmeade [00:08:28] It’s because in sports phone, I’m still trying to get off this like she gets in therapy. But I just want to hear since I of that legal background, I sometimes to take a step back, you know. Okay Chin taken the documents. Self-inflicted wound to me. No question. Having said that, nobody’s even alleging that he gave it a run. He gave didn’t give it another country, didn’t sell it. No doubt about it. He wanted there because you said it, too. He loves memorabilia. They want to show off. You want to show off? Right. That’s why he keeps the clips and stuff to show off and say, listen, this was it. I want to bring you back to that moment. So having said that, can you believe that we have this precedent on documents to put a former president rip a leading nominee off the GOP stand or make or put a possible next president in prison over papers?

Chris Christie [00:09:14] Yeah, because those papers are pretty important papers. The attack plan on Iran. If we were to militarily.

Brian Kilmeade [00:09:21] 32 years old and dead in the war.

Chris Christie [00:09:22] But. But but, Brian, you think that plan changes a lot?

Brian Kilmeade [00:09:27] Okay, I’m going to.

Chris Christie [00:09:27] Iran is where Iran is, Brian. You know, this is. And let me just say one last thing. He did.

Brian Kilmeade [00:09:33] It.

Chris Christie [00:09:34] No one else did this to him. He did it. And by the way, why is he flying the documents to Bedminster for summer vacation? Does anybody tell him he’s not the president anymore? He doesn’t need these papers anymore.

Brian Kilmeade [00:09:47] I will say this. He has even brought this up. But he was doing a book and letters. Letters? With other leaders. With other leaders. And that’s 45 book publishers. So I think he was probably looking to.

Chris Christie [00:09:58] Do and by the way, find the take the letters. The Iraq the Iran attack plan is not one of the letters from a foreign team.

Brian Kilmeade [00:10:05] I didn’t go to law school. I mean, he’s hurting me. All right. So listen, can we play this? The guy you worked with up until you became a candidate? George STEPHANOPOULOS. Yeah. I just can’t believe how oblivious people not not seen. They’re not smart, oblivious to people looking on other people besides Donald Trump, including other nominees. So this is Jim Trusty, who was a top attorney for Donald Trump on with George STEPHANOPOULOS. Listen.

Speaker 3 [00:10:29] You’ve got these investigations in Delaware that are a thousand times more serious by a sitting president who has authorized his DOJ to try to sink the candidacy of his prime opposition while that guy has unsecured documents that he stole out of a skiff dozens of years ago. So, look, you know, we’re not talking about something about.

Brian Kilmeade [00:10:51] What you’re talking about. That is a ridiculous state.

Speaker 3 [00:10:55] There’s this issue. Nice try. There’s an issue that anyone that reads any newspapers would agree. A parallel track. There’s 1850 boxes that have never been fully looked at at the University of Delaware.

Brian Kilmeade [00:11:09] And he went on to say they’re in his grudge. And it’s, you know, George STEPHANOPOULOS, he was totally oblivious to these facts that there was a counter-narrative to there’s a counter problem with the current president.

Chris Christie [00:11:20] Look, the current president, when he was vice president, took those documents.

Brian Kilmeade [00:11:24] And maybe a senator to because University of Delaware has.

Chris Christie [00:11:27] Them. And I don’t know what national security access he had or didn’t have in what was classified. It was classified.

Brian Kilmeade [00:11:33] But, you know, there’s does but.

Chris Christie [00:11:34] It should be investigated, right? It should be investigated and it should be looked at. And by the way, if he committed some crime in that that it’s got to be referred to the Congress for impeachment proceedings, because as president, he can’t be prosecuted. The only avenue we’ve gone through this before. Right, Right. With Bill Clinton. We’ve gone through this before now with Donald Trump. If he’s president, then it’s got to be referred to Congress for and to the House was specifically for impeachment. And if there is something there, it should be. What I would say to you is the other thing that needs to be done is this Hunter Biden investigation needs to be brought to a conclusion. Now, the guy investigating it is Donald Trump’s appointee. He’s the Republican U.S. attorney in Delaware who’s still there, was not relieved of his duties. Right. And look, if I were U.S. attorney, you know what I used to do, Brian? I would set dates. I would say this is the U.S. attorney’s like, by the way, May 25th. That’s the day you tell me yes or no on what you want to do here. And I pretend T-shirts. That’s going to be the day. So once the T-shirts are printed, you have to set deadlines and you have to get people moving because the country is watching.

Brian Kilmeade [00:12:45] Not if your boss doesn’t want you to come to a conclusion on it and he’s in no rush. And that boss is President Biden.

Chris Christie [00:12:51] But you’re but here’s the thing. What I’m sure Mr. Weiss knows is that once this investigation is concluded, he’s going to be a be asked to move on, just like any Republican or Democratic administration or otherwise. I don’t think he cares what Merrick Garland thinks except for him to get his job done. He should get his job done.

Brian Kilmeade [00:13:12] Governor Christie here, he’s running for president. United States will talk about him when we get back.

Speaker 3 [00:13:15] From the group of 30,000 emails returned to the State Department in 2014, 110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was top secret at the time they were sent. 36 of those chains contained secret information at the time, and eight contained confidential information at the time. Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.

Brian Kilmeade [00:14:00] James Comey. The Hillary Clinton famously emails bad. She’s so clueless. She’s making statements about Trump. Yeah, this this woman smashed the Blackberries at somebody with the server, refused to comply with the subpoena, had a tech guy.

Chris Christie [00:14:12] Who should have been charged.

Brian Kilmeade [00:14:13] Right. So that’s when she.

Chris Christie [00:14:15] Said Comey and Jim Comey is a disgrace. What he did was not only substantively wrong, but who the hell is he to be making that announcement? He’s not the attorney general of the United States. He was the director of the FBI. His job is to investigate prosecutors, decide whether to bring a case or not. What he did, there was a coup d’├ętat at the Justice Department and landing.

Brian Kilmeade [00:14:37] Right. And a soft landing for Hillary Clinton.

Chris Christie [00:14:39] Exactly right. Because he wanted Hillary Clinton to be president, United States. Look, I said this at my town hall.

Brian Kilmeade [00:14:44] I’m not alleging that Loretta Lynch, she would never brought anything. She we never heard she.

Chris Christie [00:14:49] Didn’t bring anything. And look, I said this on on Monday night. Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted. In my view, Jim Comey should have been brought up.

Brian Kilmeade [00:14:59] Because she wasn’t. Does it exonerate this president?

Chris Christie [00:15:01] No, it does not. It does not because every case must be decided on its own merits, Brian. And just because they screwed it up with Hillary Clinton does not mean that Donald Trump can violate the law and get away with it.

Brian Kilmeade [00:15:16] I don’t feel comfortable talking about so much about another candidate that feels a little bit insulting to you because I think he was talented, smart and experienced as anybody in the country. If this is your time, you’ll emerge if you’re given an even shot.

Chris Christie [00:15:27] That’s right.

Brian Kilmeade [00:15:28] I just know you’re vehemently against the guy who’s now leading. You are the second guy, Governor DeSantis, and you’ve been critical of. And you should. You got to you got to beat him, Governor.

Chris Christie [00:15:36] You got to distinguish yourself.

Brian Kilmeade [00:15:37] Right. But would you take the pledge that the Ronna McDaniel wants everyone to take that you will support the nominee if it’s not you?

Chris Christie [00:15:46] I will sign the pledge and take it just as seriously as Donald Trump did in 2016.

Brian Kilmeade [00:15:52] Well, did he get signed?

Chris Christie [00:15:54] He signed it. Wait. And then at the next debate, after he signed it, they asked all of us. It was Fox News debate. They asked all of us. You signed the pledge. We’ll all of you tonight raise your hand and reaffirm the pledge that you, in fact, will support the nominee who it is. Nine of us raised our hands and Donald Trump didn’t.

Brian Kilmeade [00:16:12] But you never put yourself to Donald Trump standard. Why now?

Chris Christie [00:16:15] Because I think the pledge is a stupid idea.

Brian Kilmeade [00:16:17] Oh, so you.

Chris Christie [00:16:18] Look, I’ll sign it because you need to sign it to get on the stage and I’ll take it just as seriously as Donald Trump did. Because, by the way, when he didn’t reaffirm it on the stage, he was at the next debate. They didn’t kick him off the stage.

Brian Kilmeade [00:16:30] Right. I don’t think he’s going to be debates. Do you think he’s going to be in debates?

Chris Christie [00:16:32] Oh, he better, because if he doesn’t come to debates, he will lose for certain. Republican voters love him because he’s a fighter more than anything else, because he’s a fighter. If he shows himself unwilling to fight on that stage against a group of very qualified candidates, then guess what? She’s going down the toilet.

Brian Kilmeade [00:16:51] Governor Christie never, never worked at sports phone but was a governor.

Chris Christie [00:16:55] I wish I would have worked in sports for him, which.

Brian Kilmeade [00:16:57] Is he did. Thanks, Governor. I really.

Chris Christie [00:16:59] Appreciate. Thanks for having me, Brian.

Brian Kilmeade [00:17:00] That’s the look out there. You got it, buddy. Governor Christie dot com.

Chris Christie [00:17:04] Chris Christie dot com. Go and donate.