WASHINGTON -- A lawyer representing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's reelection campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee in connection with the so-called "Bridgegate" scandal is condemning an attack ad released by the Christie-led Republican Governors Association that goes after an attorney based on the conduct of his clients.
"I did watch the ad and, wow, it's a disgrace," Robert D. Luskin, a partner at Patton Boggs, told The Huffington Post in an email. "The people who talk incessantly about American exceptionalism ought to demonstrate some understanding -- and some respect -- for what makes our system truly admirable: that includes the willingness of lawyers to stand up for their clients no matter how ugly the allegation. But a lawyer is only, ever an advocate; he's not a co conspirator or an enabler."
The Republican Governors Association's new ad goes after Vincent Sheheen, the Democratic nominee for governor in South Carolina. It targets Sheheen's representation of clients accused of abusing women, and says he "made money off criminals" by representing defendants in the justice system. Christie is the chair of the RGA.
“Vincent Sheheen protects criminals, not us," the narrator says in the RGA ad. Luskin said the allegations in the video "demean the legal process."
"No lawyer can 'get a client off' unless a judge or a jury decide that he or she should be set free. There are no tricks or trap doors in the process," Luskin said.
"I suppose the take away here is that in 2014, as in every election that preceded it, people will say whatever they think they need to in order to win. That's no surprise. But one would certainly hope that an organization like the RGA would also show some respect for the institutions that make our country special," Luskin continued.
Luskin and his colleague Mark Sheridan are representing the Christie campaign and New Jersey Republican State Committee in connection with a federal investigation into the temporary shutdown of access lanes to the George Washington Bridge.