Jan. 6 probe seeks Newt Gingrich; questions role in Trump’s attempt to overturn election

The Jan. 6 committee on Thursday asked Newt Gingrich to come forward voluntarily and answer questions about evidence investigators obtained highlighting the role he played promoting former President Donald Trump’s scheme to overturn the 2020 election both before and after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. 

According to the committee, the emails that piqued their interest were between Gingrich and Trump’s advisers, including Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, communications strategist Jason Miller, and others, like Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and White House counsel Pat Cipollone, all of whom have cooperated at length with the congressional investigation.  

Gingrich, a Georgia Republican and former House speaker, had cozied up to the White House as Trump’s impeachment-marred and scandal-ridden term came to an end. In the process, the committee contends, Gingrich ended up providing Trump’s team with significant input on television advertisements that propagated conspiracy theories about widespread voter fraud. 

Jan 6 Cmte Letter to Newt Gingrich by Daily Kos on Scribd

Further, House Select Committee Chair Bennie Thompson noted, mere days after the election in November 2020, Gingrich peppered Meadows and Cipollone with questions about who was in charge of coordinating an elector bid that would put fake pro-Trump “electors” in states demonstrably won by now-President Joe Biden. That fake elector bid was at the very core of Trump’s attempt to overturn the election. 

A month later, Gingrich proposed that ads should encourage the public to pressure state officials to investigate conspiracy theories. Those included the now long-debunked claim of Trump ballots being smuggled in suitcases out of voting centers in Georgia by nefarious election workers.

Those conspiracy theories latched on to by Gingrich and others ultimately upended the lives of election workers. 

But persuasion was not enough. 

Gingrich wrote Kushner, Miller, and consultant Larry Weitzner in a Dec. 8, 2020 email that “the goal is to arouse the country’s anger through new verifiable information.” 

“If we inform the American people in a way they find convincing and it arouses their anger, they will then bring pressure on legislators and governors,” Gingirch wrote. 

But that “new verifiable information” was bunk. 

Gingrich also did this just after Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia deputy secretary of state, issued an impassioned public plea begging that the disinformation and character attacks on election workers and election officials cease. 

“Someone’s going to get hurt. Someone’s going to get shot. Someone’s going to get killed,” Sterling said. 

Literal hours after the insurrection, investigators on the committee say Gingrich opted to keep pushing Trump’s agenda.

Thompson described Gingrich as “relentless.” 

In an email sent at 10:42 PM on Jan. 6—former Vice President Mike Pence had only reopened the Senate around 8 PM—Gingrich asked about the fake electors for Trump in an email to Meadows:

“[A]re there letters from state legislators about decertifiying electors?” Gingrich wrote.

The committee asked Gingrich to appear for a transcribed interview beginning the week of Sept. 19. 

As the summer winds down, the Jan. 6 committee’s public-facing activities are expected to ramp up. As committee member and Rep. Jamie Raskin recently told Daily Kos, the Jan. 6 probe would continue to gather and assess new evidence it received over the course of its public hearings and work to tie up loose ends before issuing an interim report.  

RELATED STORY: Pulling back from the ‘appalling descent’: An interview with Jan. 6 investigator Jamie Raskin

Meanwhile, on Friday, according to The New York Times, Cipollone and his deputy White House counsel Pat Philbin are expected to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the Jan. 6 attack.