Newt rebuts Hillary: We adopted Democrat rules in Clinton impeachment

By Art Moore

Newt Gingrich (Gage Skidmore, Wikimedia Commons)

Newt Gingrich defended his role as House speaker in the impeachment of Bill Clinton after Hillary Clinton called it a “partisan effort to take down a president” in a recent interview.

The former speaker pointed out to “Fox & Friends” on Monday that independent counsel Ken Starr handed Congress a report in 1998 finding 11 possible grounds for impeachment of Bill Clinton, including perjury and obstruction of justice.

In response, Gingrich said, he and the House leadership asked Rep. Jim Rogan, R-Calif., to seek advice on conducting the inquiry from Peter Rodino, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee when impeachment articles were adopted against President Nixon.

“We adopted all of Rodino’s rules,” Gingrich said, including allowing the White House counsel to be in the room during questioning.

But what Democrats are doing now, the former speaker said, is a “fundamental violation of American law.”

They are creating a “star chamber,” he said, with no lawyers allowed in the room and testimony being “selectively leaked.”

Gingrich called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “embarrassingly dishonest” people.

“The Democrats in the House are desperately trying to manufacture something. They wake up every morning saying I know Trump did something terrible, I wonder what it was,” he said.

“They have set up a rigged game that violates every core principle in American justice, violates the Constitution’s guarantee of due process, and I think that the American people are ultimately going to get very sick of this.”

In an interview Oct. 17 with the podcast “Campaign HQ with David Plouffe,” Hillary Clinton said: “Obviously, in the late 90s it was a partisan, gotcha campaign … Gingrich basically said, ‘We’re going to do it because we want to do it. … That was nothing but a partisan effort to take down a president.”

‘Invite the Democrats to join us’

As WND reported last week, Rogan’s copious, contemporaneous notes of his experience as an impeachment manager were the basis of his 2011 book “Catching Our Flag: Behind the Scenes of Bill Clinton’s Impeachment.”

He said the House Republican leadership was reluctant to move ahead with an impeachment inquiry until the Monica Lewinsky affair was revealed and Starr presented evidence of 11 impeachable offenses.

Nevertheless, he wrote, Gingrich urged caution and chose to “invite the Democrats to join us in crafting a solution as to how to proceed.”

Rogan, now a Superior Court judge in California, recalled in his book that the House Republican leadership did not support an impeachment resolution by Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., prior to the completion of Starr’s report.

Along with reviewing all of the major congressional investigations from Watergate to Iran-Contra, Rogan also interviewed leading Democratic and Republican members and former members.

“The Democrats’ common advice on its face involved no surprises or outlandish requests,” he wrote. “They urged the House Republican majority to do everything possible to make the hearings bipartisan: seek common ground with the Democratic minority whenever possible, involve them in all decisions regarding process, avoid any surprises, and clear everything in advance through their ranking member.”

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