Newt grovels to save his hide
Monday 23 December 1996
The offences were listed in a report by the House ethics committee, after a two-year investigation of allegations that Mr Gingrich may have improperly used tax-exempt donations to finance a highly political college course he taught until 1994. It also said the Speaker gave untruthful information during the investigation.
In response, Mr Gingrich was contrite as never before. "I was over-confident and in some ways naive," he said in a statement at the weekend, admitting that he stirred a controversy which "could weaken the faith people have in their government ... In my name and over my signature, incomplete, inaccurate and unreliable statements [were provided]".
It is now up to the committee to decide his punishment. This could extend to formal censure or expulsion from the House. But last night a milder sanction, perhaps a reprimand, seemed more probable, enabling him to win a second term as Speaker - the first Republican to do so since 1929. As the committee acknowledged, Mr Gingrich did not seek personal gain from his actions.
Survival is not a foregone conclusion. No mercy is expected from Democrats, and no sooner had the committee issued its conclusions than the Gingrich camp moved to bolster support among Republicans for the 7 January vote. Though the party retained a 20-seat majority in the new House, he can afford very few defections.
Even if he is re-elected, it is clear Speaker Gingrich of the 105th Congress will be a far cry from the brash leader of the 104th, who became the most unpopular figure in American politics. The meek admission of wrongdoing follows two years of insistence that he was the victim of a witch-hunt by Democrats, smarting from having lost control of the House.
- 3 Alton Towers crash: Four seriously injured and 16 guests trapped as Smiler ride carriages collide
- 4 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...
£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...
£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...