'Manipulative and destructive': Gingrich goes scorched earth on Liz Cheney

 January 14, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has concluded that fired House member Liz Cheney, whose Wyoming voters threw her out of office after she orchestrated multiple attacks on President Trump, was "dishonest, manipulative, and destructive."

He lays out in a commentary at Real Clear Wire the reasoning behind his conclusion.

It all links to a lawsuit filed by Stefan Passantino over his being fired by Cassidy Hutchinson, one of the witnesses before ex-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's partisan January 6 commission, which worked to assign blame for that day's rioting at the Capitol to President Donald Trump.

"I know both participants well. I entered Congress in 1978 with Liz Cheney’s father, Dick Cheney. I watched Liz Cheney become a competent, effective implementor of American policy around the world. Few things have made me sadder than watching her drift into an anti-Trump fanaticism – which ultimately convinced her that breaking the rules, destroying innocent people, and pandering fake news were justified behaviors," Gingrich noted.

"Years later, I got to know Stefan Passantino. Since 1998, he has been legal counsel for me and for our companies. He is a thoughtful, scholarly, and deeply ethical attorney. Passantino represents his clients with integrity and a passionate commitment to protecting them and seeing justice done."

He explained, "Liz Cheney and the committee’s ongoing process of dishonesty, violating attorney-client privilege, and leaking to friendly leftwing media was a total perversion of the congressional system. It was a dishonest effort to destroy innocent people of integrity with one-sided lies and smears."

He said the good coming out of the situation is that Barry Loudermilk, chief of the House Administration Subcommittee on Oversight, will reveal in coming months the stunning "dishonesty" of Pelosi's committee.

"Passantino represented several witnesses before the Jan. 6 Committee with no problems. He represented Cassidy Hutchinson with precisely the same integrity. In fact, he represented Hutchinson through multiple interviews covering about 20 hours," Gingrich noted.

"Hutchinson was a desirable witness for the committee because she entered the White House in her early 20s and became Special Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Legislative Affairs. She reported to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and had an office in the West Wing just a few feet from the Oval Office," he noted.

But then, he said, "Liz Cheney apparently decided Hutchinson would make a star witness – if only she would say the right things. In an amazingly inappropriate and unethical move, Liz Cheney herself (along with a small number of senior staff) approached Hutchinson after her second committee interview without informing [Passantino]. Liz Cheney then called Cassidy in for a third interview, with Passantino again serving as counsel, with neither Cassidy nor Cheney ever informing Passantino that they had been speaking without his knowledge. Contacting Hutchinson without informing Passantino was clearly unethical, and it appears as if Liz Cheney instructed Cassidy not to tell Passantino they had spoken. This was a profound breach of legal ethics."

Gingrich explained, "As a senior member of Congress (and the national media’s anointed hero), Liz Cheney approached and sought to manipulate an isolated, frightened woman in her mid-20s. Does that sound appropriate? I suspect Liz Cheney knew she was doing something wrong because she apparently did not tell her fellow committee members."

The result was that Hutchinson dismissed Passantino and hired a new lawyer, suddenly changing her testimony to Congress.

What that did was raise concerns in Congress about her credibility, he noted.

He said Pelosi's committee tried to keep the extent of Hutchinson's testimony changes concealed, and the GOP House now has uncovered evidence of "rule-breaking and simply lying to the American people."

"History will not grant Liz Cheney or the Jan. 6 Committee members the profile in courage they wanted. It will record a profile in deception, distortion, and vengeance," he said.

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