Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) made rather predictable comments to Fox News about the impeachment process targeting Donald Trump, though he made a point to connect the congressional effort to an upcoming holiday.
“The whole thing is a joke. It is frankly very, very close to what Clarence Thomas once described as ‘a modern-day lynch mob.’ … And really, on the eve of Christmas, it is really sad to see the dishonesty and the partisanship that the House Democrats are displaying.”
As luck would have it, the current presidential impeachment process isn’t the first to unfold “on the eve of Christmas.” In fact, the last one did, too.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. In 1998, the Republican House majority, led by Gingrich, expected to see its ranks grow by 30 seats in the midterm elections. Voters had a different idea: with widespread opposition to the GOP’s impeachment effort against then-President Bill Clinton, it was House Democrats who actually gained seats that cycle, a historical rarity for the White House’s party in a president’s sixth year.
Republicans, unwilling to take the hint, proceeded with the process anyway, using Congress’ lame-duck session to impeach Clinton, the will of the electorate be damned. Gingrich and his party held the votes on the impeachment articles – which fell largely along party lines – on Saturday, Dec. 19, 1998, six days before Christmas.
It was around this same time that Gingrich announced that he’d resign, in part because his GOP conference blamed him for their electoral misfortunes, in part because of the ethical lapses, and in part because he’d engaged in an extramarital affair while leading the push to impeach Clinton over an extramarital affair.
Almost exactly two decades later, though, Gingrich believes, “on the eve of Christmas, it is really sad to see the dishonesty and the partisanship” from Donald Trump’s detractors.
Sure, Newt, tell us another one.