Funding for Chris Christie’s presidential campaign in 2024 is being provided by a pair of Kushners. However, these aren’t the Kushners you might expect.
Murray and Lee Kushner, who are the uncle and aunt of Jared Kushner – previously a top advisor and son-in-law to President Donald Trump – have made substantial donations to Christie’s campaign, as revealed by the Federal Election Commission.
It’s well-known that Christie and Jared Kushner have a strained relationship. This tension can be traced back to when Christie, as former governor and US attorney of New Jersey, sentenced Jared’s father, Charles Kushner, to a 14-month prison term.
The charges against Charles included tax fraud and an elaborate scheme of revenge, which allegedly involved him hiring a sex worker to entrap his brother-in-law, who was cooperating with a federal investigation against him. After supposedly recording the encounter, Charles sent the video to his sister, Esther Schulder, seemingly as an act of retribution and possible witness intimidation. He later expressed regret for his actions.
In 2004, Charles pleaded guilty to 18 charges in relation to tax evasion and fraud.
It’s understood that Murray Kushner and Charles don’t share a close relationship, primarily due to disagreements over significant business choices. Murray and his wife have donated the maximum allowed amount, $6,600 ($3,300 each), to Christie’s campaign. They had also supported his 2016 presidential run, as well as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush’s campaign.
The prosecution of Charles by Christie marked a souring of his relationship with Jared, however, Christie has always defended his actions in the case. He said in a 2019 interview with PBS that Charles’ actions were among the most repugnant he dealt with during his time as US attorney.
In his book, “Let Me Finish”, Christie accused Jared of obstructing his chance of becoming Trump’s Vice President or Attorney General. He further claimed that Jared was instrumental in discarding the presidential transition strategy that he had prepared for Trump, who was a friend of his, during the 2016 election campaign. Christie mentioned that he had received other job proposals from Trump, but he declined them. Later on, Trump granted a pardon to Charles Kushner.
Christie, who had developed a friendship with Trump during his tenure as the US attorney for New Jersey, and was one of the earliest mainstream Republicans to support Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, is now taking an aggressive stance against him. As of March, he has pledged not to back Trump in the 2024 race if the former president becomes the nominee.