Newt Gingrich And His “Varying Views” On Obstruction In 1998 And 2017

There are few people out there defending Donald Trump against obstruction charges. Some on the Democratic side are ready to start impeachment proceedings as soon as humanly possible while on the GOP side of the aisle, some have taken a stance where they try to push the “leak” story on equal footing if not stressing that it should be the main focus. Many in between that have urged that no one “get ahead of the facts” and allow the investigations to take their natural course, assuring Americans they will get their answers when all has been looked into — and not before. While the views vary, most stay within the parameters of at least trying to show some objectivity.

Then there is Newt Gingrich. With him, objectivity seems to be a four letter word.

The former Speaker of the House has been one of Trump’s biggest cheerleaders. He has undoubtedly been unabashed in defending the President with no regard to any consistency in his own statements, even recent ones, when attacking anyone who would dare challenge or look into anything Trump may have done. Just this week, Gingrich decided to attack Bob Mueller and his staff as “partisan hacks” who are only hell bent on ruining the President. This coming only a few weeks after he was singing Mueller’s praises.

That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Gingrich. If you really want to see how Gingrich’s views change according to the players and which side he is on regarding them, one only needs to look at his statements made today at the National Press Club in contrast to how he felt when Bill Clinton was under investigation.

Gingrich today: “Technically, the President of the United States cannot obstruct justice.” He then went on to explain that he is the “chief executive” and can essentially do anything he wants. Basically, that he is “above the law.”

Gingrich in 1998: “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 also added,  “The American people have the right to expect that the rule of law will prevail, that no one is above the law,”

Of course, the only difference in Newt’s diametrically opposed views on the law is that in 1998 it was his adversary, Bill Clinton being investigated. Today, it’s his political ally, Donald Trump who is under the microscope.  That is typical in politics, though. If one really wants to “consider the source” in these varying views, one only need remember that it was Gingrich himself that was forced out of office due to an ethics scandal of his own. In fact, a look back at that scandal — not during the current explosive political climate or in the one that existed in 1998, but in between (in 2011) shows that Gingrich’s woes sound quite familiar. As the Daily Beast reported in 2011:

… it was also a period of extreme volatility, serial charges of unethical conduct by Gingrich, and a management style so disorganized and unpredictable that within three years, his own lieutenants tried to depose him in a chaotic coup. By the time he was forced out in 1998, many former members say they were terrified to open up the newspaper in the morning, fearful he had said or done that could cause them political heartburn.

Sound familiar?


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About Sean Conners 732 Articles
Sean Conners hails from the hills of Pittsburgh where he was weaned on The Steelers and Iron City Beer. He now lives in Delaware with his wife, 3 boys, 4 cats and 1 dog. When he’s not agitating tea people and other extremists (of all ideologies), he enjoys bad television shows, losing at video games and listening or playing as much music as humanly possible. An independent voter and former GOP office holder, Sean makes it his mission to spread truth and smash myths.