Gingrich Lies About His Past Lobbying Again
Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) renewed its call for a federal investigation into former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) for violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act. When pressed on the issue by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in last night’s GOP presidential debate, Mr. Gingrich again falsely claimed he had never engaged in lobbying. This argument has been thoroughly debunked by CREW.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that the only way to get Mr. Gingrich to tell the truth about these matters is under penalty of perjury,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “It’s time for the FBI to open an investigation. Lying to a debate crowd is one thing, but lying to federal investigators has drastically different consequences.”
During last night’s debate in Tampa, Mr. Gingrich again stated that his activities surrounding an effort to pass a Medicare reform bill did not constitute lobbying. Yet, in 2003, Mr. Gingrich founded the Center for Health Transformation (CHT) – which included drug manufacturers as members - as a “project” of the for-profit Gingrich Group. As the Medicare legislation moved through Congress, Mr. Gingrich repeatedly called and met with members of Congress to promote the bill. At least three lawmakers confirmed Mr. Gingrich did, in fact, lobby them to vote for the Medicare bill. Mr. Gingrich also took members of CHT to the White House for the bill signing ceremony. Finally, CHT bragged that it had been instrumental in securing passage of the bill. Despite all of this, Mr. Gingrich never registered as a lobbyist, as required by the Lobbying Disclosure Act.
“Mr. Gingrich’s claim that he simply engaged in ‘public advocacy’ doesn’t pass the smell test,” said Ms. Sloan. “He and his company were clearly being paid by the health companies that stood to benefit from the legislation. Mr. Gingrich was a lobbyist, and he should not be allowed to play word games with the American people.”
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact Jordan Libowitz at 202.408.5565 or firstname.lastname@example.org.