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House Panel Spars With Ex-N.J. U.S. Atty. Chris Christie Who Awarded Lucrative Contract to ex-Boss Ashcroft

The lucrative contract Christie approved has raised plenty eyebrows and some voices on Capitol Hill. No matter who’s right, one thing is for certain: Christie doesn’t need this type of publicity while he runs for New Jersey governor. And  oh yes, Democrats would prefer this doesn’t go away.

Christopher Christie

Christopher Christie

By KIMBERLY HEFLING
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A former U.S. attorney and New Jersey’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Thursday defended an arrangement in which one-time Attorney General John Ashcroft’s consulting firm made millions of dollars monitoring a controversial deferred prosecution agreement.

In a sometimes tense exchange with congressional Democrats, Chris Christie told the House Judiciary Committee that the choice of Ashcroft was acceptable to the company, Zimmer Holdings Inc. But the testimony from Christie, who once worked for Ashcroft, was at odds with e-mails that surfaced before the hearing that showed the company was unhappy with the fees it had to pay Ashcroft’s firms.

In one e-mail, Christie said he was “disappointed” by the firm’s complaints about the fees to Ashcroft’s firm and said “we can’t afford to be distracted.”

Ashcroft’s consulting firm stood to make $28 million to $52 million or more for 18 months of work monitoring a hip and knee replacement manufacturer accused of giving kickbacks to doctors.

For Full Story

Christie testifies about the selection of Ashcroft

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