Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended President Donald Trump when he was asked about House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry Tuesday on “The View.”
“He didn’t break the law,” Gingrich insisted while the hosts fired a series of questions at him before cutting him off.
The exchange began with co-host Abby Huntsman asking Gingrich to think back on the impeachment effort that he led in 1998 against then-President Bill Clinton.
“You did go down the impeachment road,” she said. “If you were [House Speaker] Nancy [Pelosi] today and you had a president that did exactly what Trump did that was a Democrat, what would you do?”
Gingrich responded that there were two differences between what happened in 1998 and what’s happening now.
“The first is we had a report from an independent counsel that said on 11 counts, Bill Clinton was — used the word — guilty including perjury, which is a felony, so we were faced with a report,” he said.
He pointed out that things would be different if Pelosi had referred the investigation to a special counsel.
“Second, we actually sent Congressman Jim Rogan to New Jersey to interview [former House Judiciary Committee] Chairman Peter Rodino who had done the Watergate investigation, and Rodino had a set of rules that were very bipartisan and we brought them back and implemented exactly what Rodino did,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich said that in the current impeachment inquiry, the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s staff do not have lawyers in the hearings, so they can’t know what’s happening or what is being said.
When Huntsman said that it sounded like the former House speaker would do something similar to Pelosi, Gingrich immediately shot her down.
“A, she has no referral that says he’s guilty of anything,” he said.
“B, she’s not following rules that are fair. She has no rules here which are fair which allow the person being accused to face their accuser.”
When the hosts then asked him about Trump’s alleged abuse of power, he pointed to 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the infamous Russia dossier instead.
Gingrich criticized Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s behavior Monday on “Fox & Friends.”
“Schiff is an embarrassingly dishonest person,” he told the Fox News hosts. “Pelosi has become an embarrassingly dishonest person.”
Gingrich emphasized that when he led the impeachment effort against Clinton, he had a report compiled by independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who found 11 counts of lying, obstruction and other misdeeds that could merit impeachment.
The Democrats’ special counsel investigation fell through and the current inquiry is based on a report from a whistleblower with reported ties to Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
“The fact is, the Democrats in the House are desperately trying to manufacture something,” Gingrich said.
“They wake up every morning saying, ‘I know Trump did something terrible. I wonder what it was.'”
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