Pelosi: I've got nothing on Newt Gingrich

Pelosi: I've got nothing on Newt Gingrich

CAMBRIDGE, MD.— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday dismissed the idea that she has dirt on GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich.

The California Democrat said speculation that she's withholding scandalous information on the former House Speaker in hopes of derailing his candidacy is false. Her recent comments on the topic, she said, have been misinterpreted.

"I have said over and over again, as far as Speaker Gingrich is concerned, I refer you to the public record," Pelosi said at a press conference amid the Democrats' annual issues conference near the Chesapeake Bay. "It's a matter of public record."

Pelosi—who served on the Ethics Committee that investigated, and ultimately sanctioned, Gingrich for violating tax law and lying to investigators in the 1990s — raised eyebrows last month when she seemed to suggest she had damning information on Gingrich she was willing to spill.

"One of these days we’ll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich,” Pelosi said in a December interview with Talking Points Memo. "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."

Pelosi's office quickly responded to say she was referring only to information already made public but not before Gingrich dared Pelosi to spill whatever dirt she had. He noted that members of the ethics panel are barred from revealing nonpublic information gleaned during an investigation.

“I want to thank Speaker Pelosi for what I regard as an early Christmas gift,” he said at the time.

The issue resurfaced on Tuesday when Pelosi, in an interview with CNN, predicted Gingrich would never become president. Asked to explain her certainty, she responded somewhat enigmatically.

"There is something I know," she said. "The Republicans, if they choose to nominate him that's their prerogative. I don't even think that's going to happen."

Pelosi on Thursday said the "something" was her prediction that Gingrich won't win the White House.

"Why do [I] know he'll never be the president? Just an instinct I have," she said.

Asked what publicly available information on Gingrich is scandalous enough to sink his presidential run, Pelosi passed.

"You'll just have to read the public record," she said. "I'm not here to give a road map to the public record."