Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that the Trump administration was justified in ordering the U.S. ambassador to the European Union not to appear at a deposition on the Ukraine controversy, which triggered a fiery new clash with House Democrats amid their impeachment inquiry.
“I think the president is absolutely justified in saying that he would not cooperate in any way until they establish a normal regular procedure,” Gingrich told “Fox & Friends.”
Trump dismissed the deposition as a "kangaroo court" as he defended the decision to block Gordon Sondland from appearing at the closed-door session on Capitol Hill.
But the move, first reported by The New York Times, prompted new warnings from Democrats that such acts will be seen as an obstruction of their investigation into the controversy surrounding Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In the July phone call, which was flagged as part of a whistleblower complaint, Trump urged Zelensky to look into possible interference by Ukraine in the 2016 election as well as former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s dealings in the country.
“You can’t have a whistleblower in secret take on the president of the United States,” Gingrich said, calling the impeachment push a "clown show."
The decision to block Sondland's appearance comes as Democrats have been pushing forward with their inquiry. On Monday, House Democrats issued a fresh round of subpoenas to the Pentagon and the White House Office of Management and Budget requesting documents relating to reports that Trump ordered then-acting OMB Chief Mick Mulvaney to freeze aid to Ukraine.
“What you’re seeing is a three-year war, which really is to have a coup against the Constitution by the Democrats in the House,” Gingrich said.
Fox News Adam Shaw contributed to this report.