Gingrich on Mueller: ‘You Tell Me Why I Should Relax As a Republican’

By Susan Jones | June 19, 2017 | 7:03am EDT
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke to ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, June 18, 2017. (Screen grab from ABC)

( -  Former House Speaker and Trump ally Newt Gingrich says he’s changed his mind about former FBI Director Robert Mueller being the right man to head an independent investigation into the Trump-Russia allegations.

Gingrich told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that Mueller is friends with former FBI Director James Comey, who may be a key witness in the case. Moreover, Mueller is hiring a team of attorneys, at least four of whom donated to Democrats; and one who is godfather to one of Comey’s children.

Two of Mueller’s hires are people with a record of hiding evidence from the defense, Gingrich said. “And one of them is a person who defended the Clinton Foundation. Now, in this environment, with a Justice Department where  97 percent of the donations last year went to Hillary -- 97 percent -- explain to me why I should relax as a Republican.”

Raddatz changed the subject, quoting a former Republican congressman who said the “charges” against Trump are more serious than those against Bill Clinton, who lied under oath.

“Well, what are the charges?” Gingrich asked Raddatz.

“In the current case, Comey was exploring the possibility of American involvement in the Russian plot, a treasonous offense,” Raddatz replied.

“What are the charges against Trump?” Gingrich asked again.

“There are no charges against Trump yet...but there is certainly talk about what they could investigate,” Raddatz replied.

“Well, there's talk about what they could,” Gingrich agreed. “But notice how the whole system, including you, moves the game. OK, there are no charges against Trump. Comey has said three times, there is no evidence of collusion with Trump.”

Gingrich noted that even Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee and a member of the intelligence committee, has said there is no evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians.

“So what are the charges against Trump?” Gingrich repeated.

Raddatz changed the subject again: “Let's talk about Rosenstein,” she said, asking Gingrich if Trump has “lost confidence" in the deputy attorney general who wrote a memo listing the reasons why Trump should fire Comey; and later appointed Mueller to serve as special counsel.

Gingrich said he thinks President Trump is furious:

I think Trump sits there and says, let me get this straight, I know I didn't do anything with the Russians. Comey has said three times I didn't do anything with the Russians. Nobody on Capitol Hill has any proof I did anything with the Russians.

And now I get an independent counsel who is going to mess up at least the next year, at a minimum, and who, by the way, you'll notice is expanding his charge. I mean, now they're talking about not the Russians, they're talking about obstruction.

Now they're talking about going and looking at financial files, if you believe the leak. And I said yesterday, you get two more leaks like this, Rosenstein is going to have to appoint a special counsel to investigate the special counsel.

Gingrich called it a “nightmare scenario.”

“And I don't think people realize this. You have this legalistic nightmare trying to block the Trump presidency on behalf of a department in which 97 percent of the money was given to Hillary. And you want me to believe this is all just random behavior? As a historian, I don't believe it.”

Gingrich noted that in firing Comey, Trump didn’t do anything to slow down the FBI investigation. “He was angry at Comey. He wasn’t angry at the investigation.”

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