One day late last March, New Jersey U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie summoned a pair of young prosecutors to his seventh-floor office in downtown Newark. After weeks of brooding and two long meetings with his senior staff, Christie had come to a decision. But before it was final, he wanted to hear one more time from Michael Martinez and Craig Carpenito. “Close the door and sit down,” Christie said when the two Assistant U.S. Attorneys arrived in the big office with the Manhattan views. Then he made his announcement: “I want to go ahead with this.”

Christie wanted to try Walter Forbes, the former chairman of Cendant Corp., for a third time on fraud and conspiracy charges. And he wanted Martinez and Carpenito, who had only a couple months earlier seen weeks of work in the second Forbes trial end with a deadlocked jury, to lead the third trial.

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