U.S. attorney probing Christie has opened wallet to Democrats
January 9th, 2014
04:08 PM ET
4 years ago

U.S. attorney probing Christie has opened wallet to Democrats

Washington (CNN) – Paul J. Fishman, the U.S. attorney tasked with looking into New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s bridge controversy, has donated to several Democratic politicians and organizations, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Most notably, Fishman – who was nominated for the post by President Barack Obama in June 2009 – donated to then-Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign on June 30, 2007. At the time of the contribution, Clinton was battling then-Sen. Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. Fishman donated $2,300 to Clinton, according to the FEC.

Fishman also supported then-Sen. John Kerry – who ran for president in 2004 – with a $500 contribution on June 25, 2003, and another donation of $1,200 on July 24, 2003.

All of Fishman’s campaign donations, according to the FEC, appear to have come during his time in private practice and all were directed to Democrats.

Rebekah Carmichael, public affairs officer in Fishman’s United States Attorney's Office, said it is “reviewing” whether federal laws were violated when Christie aides authorized access lane closures to the busy George Washington Bridge in September as part of a political vendetta. The closures clogged traffic in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and on Wednesday, news broke that Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie's deputy chief of staff, had ordered the lane closures as apparent political retribution against Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich, who didn't endorse Christie in his 2013 re-election campaign.

Fishman, who became U.S. attorney in 2009, has a sizable resume. He was assistant U.S. attorney from 1983 to 1994, served as a senior adviser to the attorney general from 1994 to 1997 and was a partner at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman from 1998 to 2009. Fishman graduated magna cum lade from Princeton University and cum lade from Harvard Law School.

Christie is also very familiar with Fishman’s office. President George W. Bush appointed Christie as U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey - the same office currently held by Fishman - in 2001 where he gained a reputation for rooting out political corruption in the Garden State. The office was a springboard for Christie, who left the post in 2008 after Obama entered the White House, and opted to run for his first term as governor in 2009.

Here is a list of Fishman’s individual donations, according to the FEC:

$1000 to Frank Lautenberg for Senate November 4, 2008
$1000 to Jeanne Shaheen for Senate on September 18, 2008
$500 to John Alder for Congress on March 3, 2008
$2,300 to Hillary Clinton for President on June 30, 2007
$500 to Phyllis Busansky for Congress on September 30, 2006
$250 to Democratic National Committee on June 12, 2006
$1000 to Lautenberg NJ Victory Committee on March 23, 2005
$1000 to Lautenberg for Senate on March 23, 2005
$300 to Kerry Victory 2004 on August 6, 2004
$500 to John Kerry for President Inc. on June 23, 2004
$1200 to John Kerry for President Inc. on July 24, 2004
$700 to Women’s Campaign Fund on March 7, 2004
$250 to Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on October 5, 2004
$500 to John Kerry for President Inc. on June 25, 2003
$1000 to Lautenberg for Senate on November 1, 2002
$250 to Mark Pryor for Senate on October 28, 2002

Filed under: Chris Christie • New Jersey
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Gt

    I am sure he is not bias ....or try to cut Christie off at the knee...yea right

    January 9, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  2. DENNA

    So what difference does it make that the prober donates to Democrats? All that has to be done is to examine the facts in the case. Gov. Christie's trusted employees got a case of "GOP Stupid" and did not consider that this was wrong. Those are the facts and it doesn't matter who the person donates to. It does matter that two employees of Gov. Christie did this and thought it was okay. They are idiots who may have caused the death of a woman who suffered a heart attack.

    January 9, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Wake up People!

    Stevie Wonder saw THIS coming....... The GOP controlled media strikes again!!

    January 9, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Tony in Maine

    ...and your point is?

    Or are you really that stupid that you don't know that US Attorney is a political post?

    Or maybe you're auditioning for an associate producer job on Faux Gnus, the PR arm of the RNC.

    January 9, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. g

    DID anyone die because of the vendetta

    January 9, 2014 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Wake up People!

    So why no story about Issa, who is a republican and only investigates democrats??? Uh oh Foxlite, your bias is showing....

    January 9, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    Let me guess: he did not go to high school with Christie?

    January 9, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. alex

    g – yes someone did die, as a matter of fact. Keep up.

    January 9, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Whoo, boy. Christie's in trouble.

    January 9, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Wake up People!

    Actually g, someone DID die. An elderly lady when the ambulance couldn't get through the gridlock. Maybe someone should ask HER family how THEY feel....

    January 9, 2014 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Every once in a while the MSM oversteps their bounds of common sense. This is one such time.

    @The Real Tom Paine:


    @Dominican mama:

    "Why wouldn't Christie ask the OBVIOUS question when he saw the lanes closed: WHO IN MY OFFICE AUTHORIZED THIS?

    A question worth repeating over and over and over and over......"

    Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

    January 9, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Gurgyl

    This guy is a bunch of bull....

    January 9, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Gurgyl

    This guy is so pathetic.

    January 9, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Vic of New york

    Nice to see someone who's not a Bush lacky for a change.

    January 9, 2014 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    Yeah whatever. Ask Ken Starr where his money went. Ask the GOP how much it paid Toensing and diGenova to investigate Clinton and lie about Plame on national television, or and much those two activists have been involved in donating (many thousands) to or supporting the GOP agenda and political maneuvering.

    This is pretty absurd and just digging for nontroversy. If the only people who could be a US Attorney investigating a politician were ones who had no political ties, leanings, donation or whatever at all, we'd be left with nobody to investigate politicians doing bad things.

    January 9, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "DID anyone die because of the vendetta"

    A 91 year old woman whose EMS services were delayed by the traffic and who lay unconscious in that traffic ended up dying later. Whether a medical expert will say it was a direct causal result of the delay remains to be seen, but it's not up for debate that 4 EMS instances were delayed because of this traffic and that it highlights precisely the kind of public endangerment involved here.

    January 9, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    This is just stupid.

    January 9, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. CryBabies

    @ Denna...For once I agree with you! Bada Bing!

    January 9, 2014 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Here is a list of Fishman’s individual donations, according to the FEC:"

    And the most salient fact goes unreported: they apparently stopped in 2008. As long as we're tinfoil hatting it up in here, might as well posit that the donations stopped OVER FIVE YEARS AGO because he hates Obama personally, believes he was born in Kenya, still wants to see the birth certificate and is so mad about the ACA that he no longer considers himself a Dem or liberal.

    January 9, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. CryBabies

    @ Rudy NYC....Lets wait til all the evidence is in....No Stonewalling whatsoever...get it out in the open now! This B.S. either Repb or Dem is getting old!

    January 9, 2014 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Steve, New York City

    Fishman should recuse himself – though I'm guessing that he won't b/c Washington is just a big joke.

    Washigton is totally hypocritical - they punish banks and insurance companies for not treating the public equally - yet they treat high-paying lobbyists FAR better than they treat any other citizens. Let's not even talk about the super-low taxation on folks who earn over a million dollars of dividend and interest income per year. Washington is a joke!!

    January 9, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda MInnesota and Wake up People!
    Ladies this story would be just the type to curl up on the couch with a bowl of freshly popped popcorn and some Raisinetes, find a channel that was re-running his morning press conference, and just howl with laughter watching the big man dance and weave whilst stuffing our faces.
    Then we could channel surf to the various "political" commentators and hear their score him on his political "dancing" abilities.
    And I think that's just what I'm going to do tonight!

    January 9, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "U.S. attorney probing Christie "

    I hope he uses a broomstick to do so.

    January 9, 2014 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. Tony in Maine

    Pundits everywhere are racing around – hair on fire. The Provider of Great Video (and Audio), the Great White Hope, Tony Soprano or Don Corleone, take your choice is in trouble. Never fear folks, the 4th Estate won't let their best actor fall by the wayside over something like this.

    January 9, 2014 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    So, I'll try again.

    Are you insinuating that Mr. Fishman is not honest enough, nor has the integrity to investigate and possibly
    prosecute this case? Why else would you print his "donations" thereby implying he is in the Democrat's

    January 9, 2014 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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