The American Civil Liberties Union is suing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for his refusal to release possible emails between him or his staff and Fox News chief Roger Ailes. At issue is whether Ailes tried to persuade Christie to run for president in 2012.
In May, New York Magazine reported that Ailes was urging Christie last summer to run for the GOP nomination. A reporter for Gawker named John Cook then filed a request for any correspondence between the two under New Jersey's Open Public Records Law.
Christie's office refused, saying that even if any records did exist, they would be protected under "executive privilege" laws. After the lawsuit was filed on Monday, his office said the only record that exists is a calendar entry.
"Please be advised that this office is in possession of no other records responsive to your request," Raymond Brandes, an attorney for Christie, said in a letter to the ACLU and Cook, according to the Associated Press.
The letter said Christie and his wife attended a private dinner in New York on September 11, 2010, but did not say if that dinner was with Ailes.
Cook said in a statement that he will pursue the matter in the best interest of his readers:
"The public has a right to know whether the head of America's most-watched cable news channel is advising a sitting governor on state matters. If the emails on the state system between the governor and Ailes don't relate to Christie's functions as governor, then they can't be hidden from the public."
Ailes has denied urging Christie to run. Christie has been adamant in his statements that he will not run for president in 2012, saying he is not ready. But it hasn't stopped people from speculating that he will indeed jump into the race.