U.S. House Jan. 6 committee seeks testimony from Newt Gingrich

Credit: Elijah Nouvelage

Credit: Elijah Nouvelage

The U.S. House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol wants to hear from former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The committee on Thursday announced that it has requested Gingrich to come in for questioning regarding his contact with then-President Donald Trump’s inner circle regarding the 2020 general election and efforts to overturn the results.

The panel said that its fact-finding thus far indicates that Gingrich, who represented suburban Atlanta while in Congress but now lives in Florida, was in contact with Trump advisers regarding television ads that spread misinformation about the election and falsely claimed that fraud and tampering had stolen the win from Trump.

In a letter to Gingrich requesting his testimony, select committee Chairman Bennie Thompson wrote that the panel had reviewed emails between Gingrich, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and senior adviser Jason Miller about the TV ads and what they should say.

“These advertising efforts were not designed to encourage voting for a particular candidate,” Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, wrote. “Instead, these efforts attempted to cast doubt on the outcome of the election after voting had already taken place. They encouraged members of the public to contact their state officials and pressure them to challenge and overturn the results of the election. To that end, these advertisements were intentionally aired in the days leading up to December 14, 2020, the day electors from each state met to cast their votes for president and vice president.”

The letter quotes from Gingrich’s email where he encouraged messaging from Trump’s camp that incited anger among his supporters.

“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,” Gingrich allegedly wrote.

Thompson’s letter also says that Gingrich continued to push lawmakers to reject Electoral College votes for Joe Biden even after the deadly riot at the Capitol, which interrupted the joint session of Congress. The panel said it also reviewed a separate email between Gingrich and then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows from that night where Gingrich asked about decertifying certain electors.

The committee asks for Gingrich to appear for questioning during the week of Sept. 19. The panel did not indicate whether it would subpoena him to compel his testimony if he declined to do so voluntarily.

Gingrich’s camp did not immediately respond.