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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Gingrich, Trump, Obstruction, History

So, the fantasy that didn't occur is now being replaced by -- by the way, technically, the president of the United States cannot obstruct justice. The President is the chief executive officer of the United States, if he wants to fire the FBI director, he can just fire him.
In 1998, Gingrich took a very different position when he attacked the Clinton scandals.  Juliet Eilperin reported at The Washington Post:
"The American people have the right to expect that the rule of law will prevail, that no one is above the law," Gingrich said on the floor.
In venues ranging from his filing for reelection at the Georgia state Capitol to a speech before his former political committee GOPAC, the speaker asserted that Americans will respond to the message that the White House must tell the truth. He encouraged fellow Republican leaders to hammer on this theme.
"We have never seen the level of complex, interlocking lawbreaking that we have stumbled upon the more we look into it," he elaborated to reporters on Capitol Hill.
...

In his GOPAC speech, Gingrich berated the president for allowing his staff to attack Starr. "If he doesn't want to fire Ken Starr, he should tell his staff to shut up," Gingrich said. "I am sickened by how unpatriotically they undermine the Constitution of the United States on behalf of their client."
...
After questioning Clinton's use of executive privilege as well, Gingrich then delivered a similarly harsh address before his former political committee, GOPAC. "What you have lived through for 2 1/2 years is the most systematic, deliberate obstruction of justice, coverup and effort to avoid the truth we have ever seen in American history, and the time has come to say to the president, Quit undermining the law in the United States. Turn over the evidence,' " he said.
He also said:
There is something profoundly demeaning and destructive to have the White House systematically undermine an officer of the Department of Justice

He had been at it for some time.  From ABC World News Tonight, January 2, 1994:
MICHELE NORRIS
[VO] The question is whether Mr Clinton used his influence, while governor of Arkansas, to keep a savings and loan from falling into bankruptcy. ...House minority whip Newt Gingrich said the current investigation is inadequate because it's controlled by the Clinton administration.
REP NEWT GINGRICH, MINORITY WHIP
[This Week With David Brinkley] If they're innocent, why don't they go ahead and agree to an independent counsel to clear their name?

On October 14, 1996, Eric Schmitt reported at The New York Times:
Speaking on the CBS News program ''Face the Nation,'' Mr. Gingrich cited recent news reports of the $425,000 that the Democratic Party had received this year from Arief Wiriandinata, an Indonesian who lived briefly in northern Virginia as a legal immigrant and whose father-in-law was a senior adviser to the billionaire Riady family of Indonesia. The Riadys are longtime friends of Mr. Clinton. 
...

''It's unavoidable that there will be Congressional investigations; it is unavoidable that there will be a special counsel,'' Mr. Gingrich said. ''This makes Watergate look tiny. I mean, this is a potential abuse of the American system on behalf of an Indonesian billionaire in a way that we have never seen in American history.''