Newt Gingrich schooled “The View” co-hosts on comparisons of impeachment efforts against President Donald Trump and former President Bill Clinton.
The former Republican House Speaker noted the “big differences” between the two during his appearance on ABC’s “The View” Tuesday as he sat in for co-host Joy Behar.
Gingrich was asked what he would do if he were the speaker today, in Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s position, taking on the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against Trump.
“The thing that’s frustrated me the most about the impeachment conversation has been the hypocrisy that you see, oftentimes on both sides,” co-host Abby Huntsman said. “But in this case, I think about you specifically, speaker, because you were in Nancy’s seat and you did go down the impeachment road.”
Gingrich led the impeachment effort by Republicans in the 1990s against Clinton who was found guilty on 11 counts, including lying, obstruction of justice and perjury. Clinton was eventually acquitted on both articles of impeachment: perjury and obstruction of justice.
“If you were Nancy today and you had a president that did exactly what Trump did that was a Democrat, what would you do?” Huntsman asked Gingrich.
“Well, first of all, I’m sitting here trying to be Joy and now you want me to be Nancy. All I can tell you is this is getting to be a pretty heavy load to carry psychologically,” Gingrich quipped, before taking on the question.
He noted that in Clinton’s case, he had been found guilty of a felony in a report by an independent counsel.
“I think had speaker Pelosi referred the Ukrainian phone call to a special counsel, they could do a lot of things,” he said.
He also noted the move to speak with former Democratic House Judiciary Committee Chairman Peter Rodino who had led the impeachment inquiry of former President Richard Nixon.
“Rodino had a set of rules that were very bipartisan and we brought them back and implemented exactly what Rodino did,” Gingrich explained. “Today, the White House doesn’t have a lawyer in these hearings. Secretary Pompeo’s staff went into a hearing, he has no lawyer there, has no idea what they’re saying.”
“Sounds like you would do similar to what Nancy is doing,” Huntsman interjected.
“No,” Gingrich clarified.
“Because what she is doing, A, she has no referral that says he’s guilty of anything. 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,” he asserted.
“You admit that it’s an abuse of power though, right, what he did on the phone call?” Huntsman attempted to press him again.
But Gingrich insisted that he did not see it that way, noting that he had specifically re-read the call transcript in order to address these types of questions. But the former Fox News Channel reporter and co-host of “Fox & Friends” continued to press the narrative.
“Then what is? When I think about a president’s role, if you call a foreign president and you ask them to investigate your opponent in a presidential race —” Huntsman said before being interrupted by co-host Sunny Hostin.
“And look into the DNC server as well,” she said.
“No, I’m actually curious, if that’s not abuse of power, what is?” Huntsman asked Gingrich who was ready with his response.
“It is exactly what Hillary Clinton’s campaign did,” he shot back. “Notice the difference. The Clinton campaign paid to create a dossier —”
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg jumped in to defend the failed Democratic presidential nominee.
“She’s not the president. The man who’s the president broke the law,” she declared.
“He didn’t break the law. He did not —” Gingrich fired back but was cut off.
“We’re not going to let you spin” Goldberg said as the show broke away for commercials.
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