Daily Dish
How long does a turkey take to cook? Is it done? Answers to last-minute Thanksgiving questions
Politics ESSENTIAL WASHINGTON

Here's our look at the Trump administration and the rest of Washington

CongressRussiaWhite House

Newt Gingrich says a president 'cannot obstruct justice.' That's not what he said in 1998

In a recent interview at the National Press Club in Washington, Newt Gingrich appeared to contradict his past statements about obstruction of justice.

While discussing the ongoing Russia investigation involving President Trump and his campaign, the former GOP House speaker said the president can't obstruct justice.

"Technically, the president of the United States cannot obstruct justice,'" he said, adding, "If he wants to fire the FBI director, all he has to do is fire him."

But as House speaker in 1998, Gingrich argued the opposite point. As reported by the The Times and other news outlets at the time, when referring to the investigation into President Clinton after his repeated denials of having an affair with Monica Lewinsky, Gingrich described Clinton's actions as "obstruction of justice."

"What you have lived through for 2.5 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," he said. Video of that statement was resurfaced in a 2011 CNN profile on him after he announced the launch of his presidential exploratory committee.

Ultimately, Gingrich's House charged Clinton with obstruction of justice, as stated in Article III of the House Judiciary Committee's report that urged his impeachment: "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."

Latest updates

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
79°