Gingrich Lied About Divorce

Gingrich Lied About Divorce December 29, 2011

CNN reports that newly released documents from Newt Gingrich’s first divorce show that his repeated claim that it was his first wife who wanted their divorce, not him, is a lie. He filed for divorce and she disputed it.

Newt Gingrich claims that it was his first wife, not Gingrich himself, who wanted their divorce in 1980, but court documents obtained by CNN appear to show otherwise…

On the “Answering the attacks” page of his campaign website,, which “(Sets) the Record Straight: Newt’s Positions on the Issues and His Record,” the campaign discusses Gingrich’s first divorce.

“It was (Jackie Gingrich) that requested the divorce, not Newt,” the campaign website said, referring readers to an online column written by Gingrich’s youngest daughter, Jackie Gingrich Cushman, last May…

The documents, and interviews with people close to the couple at the time, contradict the Gingrich claim about who wanted the divorce.

Newt Gingrich filed a divorce complaint on July 14, 1980, in Carroll County, saying that “the marriage of the parties is irretriebably (sic) broken.”

Jackie Battley Gingrich, the congressman’s wife and the mother of Jackie Gingrich Cushman, responded by asking the judge to reject her husband’s filing.

“Defendant shows that she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce, but that she does not desire one at this time,” her petition said.

Hardly surprising.

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  • VeritasKnight

    Now now. Newt didn’t lie. He misremembered. It’s not like this was a major event in his life, after all. You can’t expect him to keep track of every single divorce, can you?

  • d cwilson

    Newt lied about something.

    Dog bites man.

    Fire is hot.

    Might save time if news sites only reported on incidents where Newt tells the truth instead.

  • Yeah, but remember, Newt is an intellectual!

  • Didaktylos

    Newt lied about something.

    Dog bites man.

    Fire is hot.

    Might save time if news sites only reported on incidents where Newt tells the truth instead.

    Yeah – but then they wouldn’t have any content.

  • Ben P

    This whole thing is bizarre, not newt, I would have already guessed that, but the circumstances of these records.

    Court records being sealed is not uncommon, usually then the records themselves are in a special location and either there’s a redacted copy in the official record, or simply an index page in the official record saying “records are sealed.”

    That’s apparently not what happened here though. When Gingrich rose to prominence, the County clerk feared “tampering and theft” of the records, so he pulled them out of the official records and put them in an unmarked file drawer.

    That clerk later retired and no one apparently knew where the records were. So the records were effectively lost. Just now, they surface.

    The divorce records are public records, supposedly available to the public. Tampering with them, even by the clerk, in my state is at least nominally a low level felony. (don’t think anyone’s ever been charged with it). This would apply to a clerk as much as it would to someone who came in from outside and did it.

    the clerk’s rationale (he feared someone tampering with them) is not unreasonable, but leads to the conclusion that Newt, someone working for Newt, or supporters of Newt would actually commit a watergate esque felony in order to cover up Newt’s embarassing divorce records.

    Alternatively, the clerk is a bad actor and the stated rationale is a lie. he removes the records from public view on the explanation they have to be protected, and now his “successor” *finds* them in a drawer in the courthouse when coincidentally a lot of republicans think Newt would be a bad choice in the race. Remember, county clerks are elected officials in many areas.

  • Oh, come on! He simply loves the past too much to remember it correctly.

  • d cwilson

    So, he’s cheating on the past then?

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