During an interview at the National Press Club in Washington, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said that, as President, Trump cannot obstruct justice.
“Technically, the president of the United States cannot obstruct justice. He is the Chief Executive Office of the United States. If he wants to fire the FBI director, all he has to do is fire him.”
Of course, Gingrich ignores the fact that the issue with Trump was not the legality of simply firing former FBI Director James Comey, but whether he was attempting to obstruct his investigation into Trump’s potentially illegal activities in doing so.
However, in 1998, during the investigation of former President Bill Clinton following his denial of an affair with Monica Lewinsky, the former Speaker plainly called Clinton’s actions “obstruction of justice.”
“What you have lived through for two and a half long years is the most systematic, deliberate obstruction-of-justice cover-up and effort to avoid the truth we have ever seen in American history.”
As Speaker of the House, Gingrich was responsible for the House charging then-President Clinton with obstruction of justice and urged his impeachment.
Per the House Judiciary Committee’s report:
“Although, the actions of President Clinton do not have to rise to the level of violating the the federal statute regarding obstruction of justice in order to justify impeachment, some if not all of his actions clearly do.”
The fact that Gingrich would claim that a President cannot obstruct justice after being the one responsible for overseeing impeachment charges levied against a Democratic president for that exact reason is hypocrisy rarely matched in politics. The former Speaker’s blind defense of Trump is evidence enough that he would rather save a criminal than defend the laws he was once sworn to uphold.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.