Newt Gingrich on Trump’s pledge to defy Hill subpoenas: ‘I think he’s right’

Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich said Thursday, “I think he is right” after President Trump vowed to fight any subpoenas from House Democrats, asserting there are “no crimes by me at all” following the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Gingrich, a Fox News contributor and author of the new novel "Collusion," made the statement on “America’s Newsroom” the day after Trump vowed that he would go all the way to the Supreme Court if  “partisan” Democrats try to impeach him.

“It's one thing to say – and people tend to forget this, when Ken Starr reported on Bill Clinton he found him guilty, used the word ‘guilty’ on 11 different charges. It’s a totally different thing to have somebody do two years of investigation, come back and say there’s no proof, there’s no criminality and then suddenly have, on a purely partisan basis, the Democrats jump up and hunt for new things to start fighting over,” said Gingrich.

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“There’s no grounds as a private citizen for pre-presidential candidate Trump to have to give them all this stuff. And notice what they've gone after, they're basically saying, ‘We're going to dig through the family basement until we find something.’ And I think the president is right to just close it down, tell them to do the best they can and just ignore them. And have his lawyers fight their lawyers from now until the election.”

He added, “Let the country decide in 2020. You want real growth, lowest black unemployment, lowest Latino unemployment, a real chance to fix healthcare or do you want this kind of investigating baloney?”

The president’s pledge came as congressional Democrats debate whether to initiate impeachment proceedings against him. During a conference call on Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., along with her leadership team, was clear that there were no immediate plans to move forward with impeachment.

Meanwhile, also on Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify publicly next month following last week's release of Mueller's Russia report.

Nadler described McGahn, who stepped down as White House counsel in October 2018, as "a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Special Counsel's report."

When asked about congressional Democrats potentially pursuing impeachment, Gingrich said, “It won't work.”

Citing his reasons, Gingrich said, “First of all, you know in the Senate, which the Republicans control, that there is zero possibility that they would ever convict.”

“Second, I think for Democrats from marginal districts, districts that Trump carried or Clinton barely carried, to have to go back home and explain, you’re not working on healthcare, you’re not working on economic growth, you’re not working on education but here is investigative hearing number 73, I think that weakens the chance of re-election for an entire class of Democrats who are going to be very uncomfortable if that's how their party is defined.”

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Gingrich also weighed in Thursday on former Vice President Joe Biden officially announcing his 2020 bid in a video saying, “We are in the battle for the soul of this nation.”

Biden added, “I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an aberrant moment in time. But if we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation.”

“I agree with Joe Biden, we are in a battle for the soul of the nation,” said Gingrich in response.

“You have Democrats now who favor killing babies after they're born. You have Democrats who favor allowing terrorists and bombers to vote while they are in prison. You have Democrats who are for open borders, letting anybody in who wants to. You have Democrats who want to take away your right to have private health insurance. Let's go down the list.”

He added, “this is a fight over the nature of America and the future of America. And the difference, the choice next year is going to be the widest choice maybe in modern times and I think Biden is going to find it difficult to navigate because he would like to be a good old guy, just a general nice person. But everybody on the left is going to say to him 'where do you stand on all of these issues?' And he’s pretty rapidly going to discover this is a much tougher environment for a Democrat than it was while Barack Obama was shielding him from any kind of hard questions.”

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When asked if he thinks Biden can beat President Trump, Gingrich answered, “Conceivably. If the economy would go really bad. If the president would have a bad campaign. You don't know.”

He added, “The question is going to be, can the Democrats offer an alternative that people decide is better? If it's Trump versus perfection, I think President Trump has problems. If it's Trump versus the most likely Democrats on their ticket vowing for the things they claim they favor, I think he’s going to beat them by a surprisingly big margin.”