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Gingrich defends Franken: ‘This is purely and simply hysteria’

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Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) on Sunday came to Sen. Al Franken’s defense, saying the calls for the Minnesota Democrat to resign from Congress were “purely and simply hysteria.”

“He’s never faced his accusers. He’s never had due process. He’s never had an opportunity to clear his name,” Gingrich told “Fox News Sunday” when asked why the calls for Franken to step aside were “a lynching.”

“Now a million people had elected him. And 30 people decided he was inappropriate. Now they haven’t decided yet that Bob Menendez, by the way, who has a much more interesting story to tell, is inappropriate,” Gingrich added, referring to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), whose federal corruption case last month ended in a mistrial.

{mosads}“This is purely and simply hysteria.”

Gingrich defended Franken last week before the senator announced his plans to resign, saying the calls from lawmakers for Franken to leave Congress without due process were akin to a “lynch mob.” 

“I was told by a reporter who really tries to pay attention to this stuff — that to some extent the blowback on Nancy Pelosi when she tried to defend John Conyers was so intense from the left that everybody else on the left suddenly said ‘Got it. Lynch mobs are in this week. Let’s go lynch somebody. Franken’s available,’ ” Gingrich said on Sunday, referencing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) comments that former Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) deserved due process in the face of sexual misconduct allegations.

“I mean, there was no objective force to kick him out,” Gingrich added of Franken. “He wasn’t going to be expelled. He just couldn’t take the social ostracism.”

Franken last Thursday announced he would resign after more than half of the Democratic caucus called for him to do so.

Tags Al Franken Bob Menendez John Conyers Nancy Pelosi
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