House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is holding back some information on Republican Newt Gingrich that could detract from his presidential campaign, according to a report published Monday.
“One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich,” Pelosi told Talking Points Memo. “When the time is right. … I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of his stuff."
Gingrich reacted to Pelosi's comments by thanking her for an "early Christmas gift."
He also said Pelosi would be violating House rules and abusing the ethics process if she disclosed anything from the ethics investigation.
"That is a fundamental violation of the rules of the House," Gingrich said in New York following a meeting with Donald Trump. "She's now prepared to totally abuse the ethics process."
Releasing the material would show the "tainted ethics process the House was engaged in," Gingrich said.
The ethics investigation of Gingrich took place when Republicans controlled the House. Gringrich resigned from the House in 1998.
Responding to Gingrich's comments, a spokesman for Pelosi said the former Speaker was "clearly referring to the extensive amount of information that is in the public record, including the comprehensive committee report with which the public may not be fully aware.”
A spokesman for the House Ethics Committee declined to comment on "current rules in the context of allegations concerning past conduct, or hypothetical future conduct governed by past rules."
Gingrich filmed an ad with then-House Speaker Pelosi in 2008 to urge action on climate change, which haunted him early in his presidential bid this year. Gingrich called the ad “probably the dumbest single thing I’ve done in recent years” last month.
Republicans in Congress have been slow to rally around Gingrich’s rise to front-runner status in the polls, with former GOP colleague Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.) stating publicly over the weekend he is not “inclined to be a supporter” of Gingrich due to that past experience.
But Democrats such as the soon-to-retire Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) have suggested Gingrich as the GOP nominee would benefit the Democratic Party.
"He would be the best thing to happen to Democrats since Barry Goldwater," Frank said last week. Goldwater is credited with reviving Republican conservatism in the ’60s.
Pelosi told Talking Points Memo that Frank “spoke for a lot” of Democrats. “I like Barney Frank’s quote the best, where he said ‘I never thought I’d live such a good life that I would see Newt Gingrich be the nominee of the Republican party,’ ” she said.
“He tends to fly off the handle. He will say almost anything in order to get a charge. I’m sure that he’s not serious when he says a lot of these things,” Clyburn said on MSNBC.
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This story was posted at 11:44 a.m. and last updated at 4:12 p.m.