Gingrich’s Bizarre Legal Standard

Gingrich’s Bizarre Legal Standard August 21, 2018

Newt Gingrich has a rather bizarre take on the subject of White House Counsel Don McGahn testifying in front of the Mueller investigation. He thinks that since McGahn has said publicly that he didn’t see Trump do anything wrong, that settles it and the investigation should be shut down. Seriously.

NEWT GINGRICH (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): You guys are in 435 congressional districts every morning, so you can’t talk about a purely localized election because the waves of things really matter. That’s why I think, for example, that the story on Sunday was so important, that Don McGahn, the White House counsel, had spent 30 hours giving briefings to [special counsel Robert] Mueller’s staff with no executive privilege, no presidential client confidentiality. And I have a piece that will come out at Fox News later on today saying this is the end of the Mueller investigation. You can’t reasonably ask for more than 30 hours of the White House counsel, find nothing, and claim you need to keep looking. So, I think what you’re going to see is by this fall —

BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): But we don’t know if he found anything. Mr. Speaker, we don’t know what he found.


KILMEADE: How do we know what he found?

GINGRICH: Well, we do — we do know from — Don McGahn said flatly, he saw nothing that the president did that was any way illegal. And if you have the top lawyer who has testified openly for 30 hours, I think it says that there’s nothing there for Mueller or he already would have done something, and his entire investigation, I think, in terms of why he was picked, is a total bust.

How many ways is this argument moronic? Let us count the ways.

1. We don’t just take the word of someone’s attorney that they didn’t do something wrong. If we did, we could just shut down the entire justice system and no one would ever be charged or convicted with anything.

2. Gingrich has no idea what McGahn told them, only what he has said publicly when not under oath and in very broad and vague terms. That doesn’t mean that he hasn’t told them many incriminating things, wittingly or unwittingly, while testifying.

3. McGahn only has knowledge of one small part of the investigation. He has no knowledge at all of any possible financial crimes, tax evasion, conspiracy with the Russians during the campaign or virtually anything else other than than what went on in the White House — and only a fraction of that. One of the reasons you interview lots of people who only know a small part of the story is to piece everything together. And it’s quite common for one person to tell you one thing that is potentially criminal but they only have partial knowledge of it, so you bring in someone else and ask them about it because they may well have the other part of the story and the whole picture adds up to criminal activity.

Gingrich is just a political hack. He’ll say anything, no matter how ridiculous, to defend the tribe. If a Democrat made this argument, he would feign terrible outrage over it and wonder how anyone could say anything so stupid. And if Brian Kilmeade were an actual journalist instead of an empty talking head, he would point that out.

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