Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has alienated one of his former supporters with his comments suggesting that Republicans will jail members of the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
"These are people who are literally just running over the law, pursuing innocent people, causing them to spend thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees for no justification and it's basically a lynch mob," Gingrich predicted on Fox Business. "I think when you have a Republican Congress, this is all going to come crashing down and the wolves will find out they are now sheep and they are the ones in fact, who face a real risk of jail for the kind of laws they are breaking."
Daily Beast conservative columnist Matt Lewis voiced his disappointment with Gingrich on Tuesday.
"I’ve always had a soft spot for Newt Gingrich. While I grew disappointed in his Trump boosterism, I always admired his intellect (heck, I even made the case that he should be Trump’s running mate). But a comment he made Sunday on Fox News suggests Gingrich has tipped too far toward MAGA world’s worst authoritarian instincts to be redeemable," Lewis wrote. "A senior statesman, like Gingrich, should not be promiscuously injecting political retribution into the discourse—especially in this political atmosphere."
He noted Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) praised Gingrich for his comments on Steve Bannon's podcast.
"Gingrich is well aware that using political power to 'lock her up,' as it were, is the stuff of banana republics and authoritarian regimes," he wrote. "As a 78-year-old historian, Gingrich, unlike Gaetz, should be expected to know better. Unlike the backbencher congressman, Newt was once [second] in line to the presidency and he was appearing on the top-rated Fox News—not a fringe outlet like Bannon’s War Room podcast, One America News Network (OAN), or Newsmax."
Lewis worried about what Gingrich's comments say about the GOP.
"Of course, the knock on Gingrich was always that he was grandiose and had too many eccentric ideas. But he was brilliant. He had panache. In the TV era, it helps to have a flair for the dramatic and I always thought Gingrich at least operated within the broad acceptable spectrum of liberal democracy," Lewis wrote. "This is to say, Gingrich was always a hyper-partisan culture warrior, but he was also an intellectual who was well within the conservative movement’s mainstream. The scary thing is, he still is."
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