As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie prepares to make his first trip to Iowa since 2011, the potential Republican presidential candidate is coming under fire—from a conservative group.
The Judicial Crisis Network is launching an online ad Tuesday accusing Christie of appointing liberal judges to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The nonprofit group says it is spending $75,000 on the three-day effort—which includes 90-second and 15-second versions of the ad—in the Hawkeye State, which hosts the first presidential caucuses.
“Chris Christie promised to change New Jersey’s liberal Supreme Court,” the ad’s narrator says. “Five openings later, no change.”
The online ad also features an image of the governor shaking hands with President Obama in what appears to be the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. Conservatives had criticized his friendliness toward the president in the days before the 2012 elections, saying it gave the Obama campaign a late boost.
Online ads don’t have the reach or impact of television ads—especially this far out from the 2016 election—but the Judicial Crisis Network’s campaign could preview a line of attack against Christie in the Republican presidential primary.
Christie, who has said he is considering a White House bid, is slated to headline three fundraisers in Iowa on Thursday benefiting the Republican Governors Association, which he chairs, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, and the GOP state House speaker. Christie hasn’t visited the state since December 2011, when he campaigned for Mitt Romney.
Iowa isn’t the only early-voting state on Christie’s upcoming schedule: He will also headline a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party at the end of the month.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."