Gingrich "suspect[s]" Dems will put politics ahead of national security if they win control of House; after all, that's what he did in '94

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

In describing what would happen if the Democrats took control of the House, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, appearing on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, said "you can expect two years of all-out investigations, attacks, anything they can bring to bear." What Gingrich didn't say is that prior to the 1994 elections, he reportedly vowed, "Washington just can't imagine a world in which Republicans would have subpoena power," and he delivered.

Appearing on the March 15 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) alleged that, because of the "willingness" of Democratic leaders "to put politics ahead of national security" and other "major issues" facing the country, "you can expect two years of all-out investigations, attacks, anything they can bring to bear" if the Democrats regain control of the House or Senate after the 2006 congressional elections. But while Gingrich's theory that the Democrats will abuse their authority if they become the majority party is merely conjecture, neither he nor host Bill O'Reilly noted Gingrich's actions as House Speaker when the Republicans regained control in the 1994 congressional elections. Gingrich reportedly vowed before that election that "Washington just can't imagine a world in which Republicans would have subpoena power," and with the GOP's victory, he delivered.

In an October 14, 1994 report, The Washington Post described a memo detailing a meeting between Gingrich and then-National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) chairman Bill Paxon (R-NY) in which Gingrich claimed that if the Republican Party won control of the House in the upcoming congressional elections, the party would use its power to investigate corruption inside the Clinton administration. During the meeting with Paxon, Gingrich said that "Washington just can't imagine a world in which Republicans would have subpoena power," adding, "[I]magine the last two years if we could have used subpoena power to get to the bottom of Whitewater" and then-Secretary of Agriculture "Mike Espy's relation with Tysons Food." Espy was acquitted in December 1998 of charges that he improperly accepted gifts from Tyson Foods Inc. and other companies.

Further, on April 29, 1996, Roll Call documented a memo drafted by Virginia Thomas, aide to then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), noting that "influential power brokers" in Gingrich's "inner circle" had directed Republican committee chairmen to search their files for "waste, fraud, and abuse" and "examples of dishonesty or ethical lapses" in the Clinton administration in order to "compile information for packaging and presentation to the Leadership for determining the agenda":

House Republican leaders last week directed their committee chairmen to search their investigative files for damaging "anecdotes" on corruption of "Washington labor union bosses" and "examples of dishonest or ethical lapses in the Clinton administration," according to an internal GOP memo that leaked out on Friday.

The memo was sent by Reps. Bob Walker (R-Pa) and Jim Nussle (R-Iowa), neither of whom holds an elected post in the leadership but who are nonetheless influential power brokers in House Speaker Newt Gingrich's (R-Ga) inner circle.

The project is under the direction of one of House Majority Leader Dick Armey's (R-Texas) top aides, Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Said the memo, "On behalf of the House Leadership, we have been asked to cull all committees for information that you already have on three subjects listed below. We are compiling information for packaging and presentation to the Leadership for determining the agenda."

The three subject areas set for committee review are: "Waste, Fraud and Abuse in the Clinton Administration; Influence of Washington Labor Union Bosses/Corruption," and "Examples of Dishonesty or ethical lapses in the Clinton administration."

Additionally, as Roll Call reported on September 30, 1996, Thomas -- wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas --prepared an "assault book" allegedly detailing 75 different alleged Clinton administration "scandals" for Republican House members to use for the upcoming 1996 elections:

The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has prepared an assault book on the Clinton Administration that is being completed by the House GOP leadership in time for GOP Members to use for the fall elections.

The scandal sheet has been pieced together by Virginia Thomas, a top aide to House Majority Leader Richard Armey (R-Texas). Democrats have long accused Thomas of being a partisan dirt-digger for House leaders, a charge she has vociferously denied.

A GOP source said the book was still in draft form on Friday and would be completed by Monday so that Members can bring it home with them as they hit the campaign trail. As of Friday, the GOP leadership had detailed a running total of 75 Clinton Administration "scandals."

From a discussion about Sen. Russ Feingold's (D-WI) recent proposal to censure President Bush over his administration's domestic surveillance program on the March 15 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:

O'REILLY: Wall Street Journal today, editorial page. Feingold, the senator from Wisconsin, wants to run for president in 2008, pushing the censure of President Bush about the NSA wiretapping deal. The Wall Street Journal says this is just the beginning of an impeachment situation if the Democrats regain control of the House and the Senate. What do you see?

GINGRICH: Well, I think if the Democrats -- if you end up with the Feingold-[House Democratic Leader Nancy] Pelosi-[Democratic National Committee chairman] Howard Dean leading the Democratic Party, in control of either the House or the Senate, you can expect two years of all-out investigations, attacks, anything they can bring to bear. Their willingness to put politics ahead of national security and put politics ahead of major issues that involve the country is, frankly, mildly amazing.

O'REILLY: All right. So, if the Democrats win the House or the Senate or both, then President Bush is going to have to fight political actions designed to humiliate him and remove him from office?

GINGRICH: See, I suspect that Nancy Pelosi's first instruction to every chairman would be, "Find something you can investigate the administration on," and they would go all out. And I think Senator Feingold is showing you that there are no holds barred. There are no grounds for censuring the president that are legal. This is a purely political ploy by somebody who's a very left-wing Democrat and who's trying to appeal, I think, to the anti-war crowd as part of a presidential campaign.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy
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Newt Gingrich
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The O'Reilly Factor
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Attacks on Progressives, Propaganda/Noise Machine, 2006 Elections
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