- Associated Press - Monday, March 13, 2017

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Monday that the “moaning and complaining” from federal prosecutors asked to resign by the Trump administration last week was “ridiculous.”

Christie’s comments came in response to those of former New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, who said Sunday that the timing of request was “abrupt and shocking” and complicates the transition to a successor.

Christie previously served as U.S. attorney for New Jersey. The Republican was appointed by President George Bush and announced his own resignation two weeks after Democrat Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election.

“All this moaning and complaining from people like Preet Bharara and Paul Fishman and others to me is ridiculous,” Christie said. “They received notice that they were leaving office. That notice was given to them by the people of this country when they elected a Republican president.”

Preet Bharara, the high-profile former Manhattan federal prosecutor, said Saturday he was fired despite Trump asking him to remain in a meeting last year.

Fishman announced Friday he was stepping down that day after the Justice Department requested resignations from him and 45 other United States attorneys appointed during the prior presidential administration. The Justice Department has said the request was similar to ones made in past presidential transitions.

Fishman said he expected to be asked to step down within a few months, but the Montclair resident said he only had a few hours to submit his resignation, adding that he didn’t consider refusing the request.

“A transition period would have been a lot better,” Fishman said. “I knew this job wasn’t mine forever. It shouldn’t be in any event, and the President has the power, authority and opportunity to appoint U.S. Attorneys who would serve him and I fully expected that process would take place over a couple of months. I just didn’t think we would be given seven to nine hours.”

For Fishman, the resignation came only days before the sentencings of two former allies of Republican Gov. Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case. It was perhaps the highest profile case in his more than seven years in office. Fishman said investigations and prosecutions will continue without interruption because he’s the only office member leaving.



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