Chris Christie, prosecutor: How can Clinton live with her conscience?
With a featured speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday night, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — formerly a rival of Donald Trump's in the presidential race— launched a prolonged attack against the only opponent who still stands between Trump and the White House: Hillary Clinton.
Christie told the crowd in in the past few weeks we’ve seen the Justice Department refuse to prosecute Clinton over her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State. And he said over the past eight years the Obama administration has refused to hold her accountable for what he said was her dismal record.
Christie then told the crowd: “Let’s do something fun tonight."
"As a former federal prosecutor, I welcome the opportunity to hold Hillary Clinton responsible for her performance and her character," he said. "We’re going to present the facts to you, you tonight sitting as a jury of her peers, both in this hall and in your living rooms around the nation. Since the Justice Department refuses to allow you to render a verdict, I’m going to present the case now, on the facts, against Hillary Rodham Clinton.”
It wasn't long before Christie found himself pausing for the crowd's chants of "Lock Her Up."
Christie then reviewed Clinton’s record around the world as America’s chief diplomat, saying every region of the globe has been “infected by her flawed judgment.”
Christie said in North Africa Clinton was the chief engineer of the disastrous overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya, and ISIS is now dominating that country.
“Hillary Clinton as a failure for ruining Libya and creating a nest for terrorist activity by ISIS. Answer me now, is she guilty or not guilty?” Christie asked.
The crowd yelled “guilty.”
Christie went down a list of countries. In Nigeria, Christie said, "Hillary Clinton amazingly fought for two years to keep an Al-Qaeda affiliate off the terrorist watch list." — referring to Boko Haram. "These terrorists abducted hundreds of innocent young girls two years ago. These schoolgirls are still missing today."
Under Clinton, the State Department did indeed delay the designation of Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization until 2013, in part at the urging of Nigerian officials worried it would give the organization the credibility it needed to grow. When Boko Haram abducted about 200 girls, it cast a new light on that much-debated decision.
In Syria, Christie blamed Clinton for calling resident Bashar al-Assad in Syria a "reformer" and a "different kind of leader." A Politifact rating of the claim says it "requires more context."
Speaking of Assad in 2011, on CBS' Face the Nation, Clinton said: "There is a different leader in Syria now. Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he's a reformer." By that point, Syria's bloody civil war was underway — as were brutal crackdowns on protests by Assad's regime.
When questioned days later about whether she was defending Assad, Clinton said she was re fencing the opinions of others, but hadn't given her own or that of the Obama administration.
Christie further pressed Clinton's record — blaming her for opposing a "buy American" provision in a stimulus bill and sending more money to the Chinese government "to finance a huge expansion of government spending," and calling her a chief architect of the Iran nuclear deal that's been vastly unpopular among Republicans and some independents and Democrats.
Each time, Christie asked: "Is she guilty or not guilty?” An enthusiastic crowd answered with the former.
Clinton supported concessions to the Castro brothers, and got almost nothing in return for ending the embargo with Cuba.
“She supported a deal that didn’t even require this murderous regime to return a cop killer, JoAnne Chesimard, to face justice,” he said.
In 1977, Chesimard was convicted of the first-degree murder of Officer Werner Foerster and of seven other felonies related to a 1973 shootout with State Police. Some activists claim she was wrongfully convicted, but she remains remains atop the State Police Most Wanted list. She's been in Cuba for decades.
The head of the New Jersey State Troopers Union, in a pointed letter to President Barack Obama earlier this year, said Obama should demand Cuba return dozens of “despicable human beings” hiding there from U.S. justice. Christie himself has said the state’s airports shouldn't be allowed to run any flights between Newark and Cuba until she's returned to the United States.
Christie said Tuesday night: “See I know about this personally. JoAnne Chesimard murdered a New Jersey state trooper in cold blood, fled to Cuba, and lives there under Cuban protection to this very day.”
“How could someone live with their own conscience when you reward a domestic terrorist with continued safety and at the same time betray the family of fallen police officer?" Christie asked. "Hillary Clinton, as a coddler of the brutal Castro brothers and betrayer of the family of fallen state trooper Werner Foerster, is she guilty or not guilty?”
The crowd again yelled “guilty,” and again chanted “lock her up, lock her up.”
Christie also attacked Clinton for setting up “a private email server in her basement in violation of our national security. Hillary Clinton cared more about protecting her own secrets than she cared about protecting America’s secrets and then she lied about it over and over and over again,” he said.
He continued “we cannot promote someone to commander in chief who has made the world a more violent and dangerous place with every bad judgment she’s made.”
Christie accused Clinton of lying to the American people “day after day after day.”
He said “we didn’t disqualify Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States. The facts of her life and career disqualify her.”
Christie said Donald Trump is the alternative. He described Trump as a man who judges people on their performance, “regardless of your gender, your race, your ethnic or religious background, I implore you, we do not need to settle for less in this election.”
“We cannot reward incompetence and deceit," Christie said. "We need to demand more than what Hillary Clinton offers for America. We know exactly what four years of Hillary Clinton will bring, all the failures of the Obama years, but with less charm and more lies.”
Christie ended his speech by saying “it is time to come together and make sure Donald Trump is the next president of the United States. I am proud to be part of this team. Now lets go out and win this thing together. Lets go get 'em.”
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