Massachusetts Attorney General calls for federal investigation into Christie/Baker scandal
Boston TV station WCVB and the Boston Globe are reporting this morning that Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is requesting a federal investigation of the pension scandal first exposed by Pando and now engulfing Gov. Chris Christie and Massachusetts GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker. Her call was echoed by the co-chairman of the New Jersey legislature's Select Committee on Investigation.
WCVB political reporter Janet Wu broke the news of Coakley's announcement in a tweet (also confirmed by a WCVB producer and the Globe) previewing the station's upcoming "On the Record" interview with Coakley, who is herself a candidate for governor:
@marthacoakley:Feds/SEC shud investigate Charlie Baker's role in General Catalyst/NJ Christie deal Watch WCVB OTR Sun 11 am #wcvb #mapoli
— Janet Wu (@WuWCVB) May 15, 2014 In an interview with Pando, New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the co-chair of the committee investigating Bridgegate, said: "I agree with the Massachusetts Attorney General, and urge the New Jersey U.S. Attorney and New Jersey's Attorney General to look into this."
The breaking news this morning comes after Christie himself was finally forced to personally respond to Pando's reporting during a New Jersey radio interview. In that "Ask the Governor" radio interview on New Jersey 101.5 (see segment 3, about 5 minutes in), Christie said:
"On the $25 million to a fund in Massachusetts, Charlie Baker who is the gubernatorial candidate in question, had made a donation years earlier to the State Committee. He has nothing to do with the investment decisions there at that fund at all. What he does at that fund is to identify businesses for them to invest in. So there was no violation of the law there. There was nothing inappropriate there."Of course, as Pando first reported, Baker made his $10,000 campaign contribution to the New Jersey Republican State Committee a mere seven months - not "years" - before Christie officials offered the pension contract to Baker's firm.
Pando requested comment about the Massachusetts Attorney General's request from the New Jersey Department of Treasury, Charlie Baker and the Baker for Governor campaign. None of them responded to the requests. A spokesperson for Gov. Christie referred requests for comment to the Baker campaign.
A spokesperson for General Catalyst said they had "no comment on the news that the Massachusetts Attorney General is calling for a federal investigation into this whole matter" but sent Pando the following statement by email to "help to inform [our] reporting going forward":