WASHINGTON — Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Wednesday that it seems like Donald Trump's final White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, might be cooperating with the federal probe into the former president.
Christie was reacting to a brief exchange captured on video Wednesday morning in Washington between Meadows and an NBC News reporter, who asked Meadows whether he has testified before a federal grand jury.
"I don’t talk about anything J6-related," Meadows said, referring to special counsel Jack Smith’s probe into Trump’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Asked whether he felt the investigation was appropriate, Meadows walked into a building.
"Watching that video," Christie said in an interview on MSNBC's "Andrea Mitchell Reports," "that looks to me like somebody who is cooperating with the federal government."
Christie said witnesses who testify before grand juries can talk publicly about it if they want to.
"The only time you can't do it is when the government has a cooperation agreement with you and they say, 'No talking about this; the only time we want to hear you talking is when you’re on the witness stand,'" he said. "And that, to me — Mark Meadows looks to me like a federal witness under a cooperation agreement, and I — my guess is that’s what we’re going to find out he is."
Christie, who’s running for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey during President George W. Bush's administration. His campaign didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
A lawyer for Meadows also didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.
The special counsel's office declined to comment.
A Trump 2024 campaign spokesman, Steve Cheung, said, “Chris Christie is a stone-cold loser and should stop being so thirsty for relevance and attention.”
After a legal battle this year, a federal judge ordered Meadows and other Trump White House aides to testify before the federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection and efforts to reverse the 2020 election.
In a separate investigation by the special counsel, Trump was indicted last month on criminal charges in connection with his handling of more than 100 classified documents discovered last year at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Meadows was one of Trump’s representatives to the National Archives, to which Trump returned 15 boxes of White House documents from Mar-a-Lago in early 2022. The Presidential Records Act mandates that all presidential records must be properly preserved by each administration and transferred to the National Archives at the end.