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As usual, Judicial Watch Chairman Larry Klayman has it exactly right.
It’s not only long past due for President Clinton to resign, House Speaker
Newt Gingrich should be right behind him.

Amid the biggest executive branch crisis in America since Watergate,
Gingrich, through his alternating attempts at strategic silence and overly
cautious prescriptions for the republic, is becoming complicit in Clinton’s
crimes against the people.

The latest outrage from Gingrich? On Sunday he said he believed only “a
pattern of felonies” and not “a single human mistake” could constitute
grounds for impeachment of the president.

And Newt Gingrich calls himself a historian. What would the founders of
this great nation think about America’s advanced state of decay if they
heard the speaker of the House say impeachment could only follow evidence
of “a pattern of felonies”?

Now, don’t get me wrong. There is no question in my mind that Clinton is
guilty of a pattern of felonies. What bothers me is that, with all the
evidence already made public about that pattern, Gingrich is still
wondering if it exists. The other problem I have with this statement is
that impeachment is a perfectly appropriate remedy for removal of a corrupt
president even if he is not guilty of any statutory crimes — felonies or
misdemeanors.

“Why, at the moment of truth, does Gingrich continue to frustrate House
inquiries into Clinton’s conduct?” asks Klayman.

Klayman answers his own question.

“First, in January 1997, Gingrich, in effectively pleading guilty to
ethics violations for misusing non-profit monies and lying to Congress
about his acts, admitted that he had brought ‘discredit’ on the House,” he
says. “This is the standard for impeachment of a speaker and a president.
Thus, Gingrich cannot now support Clinton’s impeachment for similar
reasons. The speaker paid a whopping $300,000 fine for his actions to
reimburse the American people for an investigation prolonged because of his
providing false information to investigators — a similar situation to the
one Clinton finds himself in today.”

“Second, Clinton allies, including James Carville and others, have
begun gathering derogatory information about Gingrich and have threatened
to use it if he allows the House to proceed with a meaningful impeachment
inquiry,” he continues. “Salon magazine, the administration’s mouthpiece,
has announced that Gingrich’s head will be among the first to roll in what
has been described as an Ellen Rometsch strategy — implying that the
speaker’s FBI file has also been accessed.”

“Third, based on the experience of the last two years, it is clear
that every time Clinton’s conduct is debated in the House Judiciary
Committee — the body to initially conduct impeachment inquiry — the
president’s actions will be, at a minimum, analogized to Gingrich’s, by the
likes of John Conyers, the ranking minority head. As Gingrich harbors
ambitions to run for president in 2000 or beyond, this would effectively
kill his chances.”

Those are some of the reasons Gingrich has killed or watered down every
major House investigation into the crimes of the Clinton administration. He
has demonstrated remarkable disinterest in Filegate, Travelgate,
Whitewater, Chinagate, political abuse of the Internal Revenue Service,
Waco and the mysterious deaths of Vincent Foster and Ron Brown. Meanwhile,
as Clinton has attempted to hijack our freedoms with executive orders,
presidential decision directives and plots for martial law, Gingrich’s
opposition agenda has been, to be charitable, lackluster to say the least.

The only thing that can explain such behavior is fear — a desire for
political and personal self-preservation. God only knows (and, perhaps,
Carville) what deep, dark secrets are keeping Gingrich so quiet, so timid.
Does he, too, have skeletons in his closet? We know he has them in his
livingroom.

“For the good of the American people, given his latest retreat on
ethics, the time has now come for Gingrich to step down as speaker,”
concludes Klayman. “He is too conflicted to lead the House during an
impeachment inquiry.”

I agree. It was a mistake for Gingrich to seek the position when he knew
he had brought discredit on the institution and on the people it serves.

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