Lawmakers, legal and political experts, and pro-democracy advocates are enraged over former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich‘s threat that if and when the GOP retakes Congress they will have members of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack jailed. He called the bipartisan 1/6 committee a “lynch mob.”
“I think when you have a Republican Congress, this is all going to come crashing down,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. “And the wolves are going to find out that they’re now sheep and they’re the ones who are in fact, I think, face a real risk of jail for the kinds of laws they’re breaking.”
“All these people who have been so tough and so mean and so nasty are going to be delivered subpoenas for every document, every conversation, every tweet, every email, because I think it’s clear that these are people who are literally just running over the law, pursuing innocent people,” added Gingrich, who scholars credit with undermining democracy by creating massive political polarization.
To be clear, the January 6 Committee is not known to have broken any laws, but over the past week they have revealed numerous bombshells implicating the Trump administration in the coup attempt.
Massive outrage against Gingrich has exploded on social media.
“That’s just bizarre,” responded U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). “I think Newt has really lost it. You know, it leaves me speechless. I mean, unless he is assuming that the government does get overthrown and there’s no system of justice.”
Political commentator John Fugelsang:
Tell me you’re a fascist by directly telling me you’re a fascist: Newt Gingrich Edition https://t.co/bxWJNginSG
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) January 24, 2022
Larry Sabato, the highly-respected director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics: “Newt Gingrich offers a compelling reason why the GOP crazies should not be put in control of their asylum next November.”
Professor of Politics Jack Pitney responded to Sabato, saying: “I have studied Newt for decades. This is the craziest, more irresponsible thing he’s ever said — which is saying something.”
This gets my attention because Newt has said so many outrageous things! To have you designate his latest declaration as the craziest is significant.
— Larry Sabato (@LarrySabato) January 23, 2022
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) commented, “Listen, not all Republicans think things like this, but many do. And if the Gingrich/Taylor Greene wing of the party takes over (if they already haven’t), then our democracy might be gone.”
Journalist and filmmaker Steven Beschloss:
Hear loud and clear when Newt Gingrich insists the Jan 6 House committee should be jailed if the GOP takes over. This is the hostility to the rule of law now driving the party that once dared to call itself the party of law and order.
— Steven Beschloss (@StevenBeschloss) January 23, 2022
CNN’s John Harwood said: “these Gingrich remarks offer a useful reminder for those upset by Biden’s warning that Republicans might engineer illegitimate election outcomes.”
Noting that Gingrich is “a former Speaker of the House,” he summed up his concern by saying: “the threat to democracy is real.”
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