Release the Document

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


The ethics investigation into Newt Gingrich — covered by Mother Jones for two years now — could be nearing a conclusion. On Friday, December 13, Newt reportedly received a document from the ethics subcommittee. He has refused to release that document to the public. At the heart of the investigation is a series of contradictory letters that Gingrich wrote to the House Ethics Committee regarding his televised college course and its ties to GOPAC and the Progress & Freedom Foundation. If there are ties between Gingrich’s college course and his two partisan organizations, this would not only be ethically dubious, but could also prove to be a violation of tax law.This conflict has been at the core of Mother Jones‘ investigation since our July/August 1995 issue.

The memos that are receiving the most attention include an October 1994 letter in which Gingrich admits that GOPAC and the Progress & Freedom Foundation have paid for course preparation, and a December 1994 letter in which Gingrich claimed that GOPAC did not fund his course. This week Gingrich blamed his attorney, Jan Baran, for allowing the disclosure of the erroneous statements to the panel. Baran resigned from the case, and insisted in a statement that everything he had filed with the Ethics Committee had been approved by Gingrich. Gingrich later rehired Baran to represent him in a lesser capacity — thus making it nearly impossible for Baran to be called to testify against the speaker.

Will Gingrich finally get his comeuppance? As Mother Jones reported in its January/February 1997 issue, Newt’s troops appear to be abandoning him. A few days after the election, Chris Shays (R-Conn.), Mark Souder (R-Ind.), and Marge Roukema (R-N.J.) declared they wouldn’t vote to re-elect Newt speaker until the Ethics Committee charges were settled; Steve Largent (R-Okla.) urged the speaker to resign until the ethics charges were resolved; and Peter King (R-N.Y.) said Newt should step aside for someone new. King claims that as many as 20 other Republicans wanted a new speaker. Newt quickly quieted this dissent. Shays, Souder, King, and Roukema quickly backtracked, and the Republicans voted to make Gingrich the House leader for another term. But since this new information broke, King and Shays have spoken up again, renewing calls for Gingrich to give the Republican party and Congress a thorough explanation of the matter before asking them to officially vote him in as speaker on January 7. “Misleading the Congress or submitting false information is very, very serious,” King told the New York Times. The investigation is clearly making Newt’s peers nervous. Meanwhile, the public will remain in the dark until the results of the ethics investigation are made public.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate