Newt Gingrich also changed his mind about special prosecutors

The former House Speaker once thought special prosecutors were good. Now he doesn't

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published June 13, 2017 12:22PM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich once stressed the importance of judicial independence from the executive branch, particularly when it came to special prosecutors.

Now — like his thoughts on Robert Mueller — Gingrich is showing he's easily able to change his tune.

"I do think the Congressional Republicans ought to look into this," Gingrich told "Good Morning America" host George Stephanopoulos," noting that Mueller's first four hires were all Democrats. "One of them had worked for the Clinton Foundation. One of them had two cases deliberately had hid evidence from the defense, one of which was repudiated by nine to zero by the Supreme Court. These are bad people."

Stephanopoulos interrupted Gingrich at this point to incredulously challenge his use of the phrase "bad people."

"Bad people." Gingrich repeated. "I mean these are people who are gonna be after Trump. He did not hire a single Republican in the first wave."

Gingrich also claimed that "97 percent of the political contributions in the Justice Department went to Hillary Clinton."

He went on to assert that "independent counsels are very dangerous" by claiming that they sent former vice presidential adviser Scooter Libby to jail even though, according to Gingrich, Libby had done nothing wrong.

But Gingrich was a fan of special prosecutors when it came to President Bill Clinton. He lambasted Clinton for criticizing special prosecutor Ken Starr, saying, "There is something profoundly demeaning and destructive to have the White House systematically undermine an officer of the Department of Justice."

When faced with the fact that Ken Starr was supportive of the team that Mueller had assembled, Gingrich replied: "Ken Starr and I live in two different universes then."

Gingrich's proof that we live in a "different world" was that Kathy Griffin had a controversial art piece showing a decapitated Trump, as well as a recent performance of "Julius Caesar" that juxtaposed Caesar with Trump, even though (as Stephanopoulos observed) neither of those had anything to do with Mueller.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

MORE FROM Matthew Rozsa

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump George Stephanopoulos Newt Gingrich Partner Video Robert Mueller