- Chris Christie is facing a federal criminal investigation, according to reporting by International Business Times and ABC News.
- The investigation centers reportedly around Bennett Barlyn, who was fired from the Hunterdon County prosecutor's office in 2010.
- Barlyn claims he was fired at Christie's behest because he had objected to the dismissal of indictments brought against Christie allies in the state facing corruption charges.
- Christie denies any involvement in firing Barlyn and says he doesn't know the people he is accused of protecting.
A bad year for New Jersey's governor
After winning election as governor of New Jersey in 2009, Christie became something of an instant superstar in Republican circles — a conservative who won in a blue state near the height of Democratic Party power in Washington. In 2013, he scored a crushing re-election victory in which he enjoyed the support of many Democratic Party municipal officeholders and several labor unions.
Things got rockier for Christie when it came out that members of his team had been involved in the re-routing of George Washington Bridge traffic through the town of Fort Lee, though no evidence has emerged of Christie's personal involvement. Recent comments from Christie about vaccines have also damaged his image. Yet Christie's strong relationships with Wall Street players (many of whom live in New Jersey) have led to enduring presidential buzz and some talk of a reboot. But well beyond "bridgegate," Christie's detractors have long charged that he's very much a part of the often-sordid New Jersey machine politics scene.