Taped Phone Call Results In Another Gingrich Violation
WASHINGTON (CNN, Jan. 17) -- The House ethics committee report on Newt Gingrich's ethics violations contains a section on the now-infamous taped cell phone conversation, finding that Gingrich broke his agreement with the panel.
In the conversation, which was picked up by a Florida couple using a police scanner, Gingrich and other top Republicans discussed a strategy for responding to an announcement that hadn't even been made yet -- the ethics committee's announcement that Gingrich had admitted to ethics violations and to providing false and misleading information to the committee.
The report released today says the investigating subcommittee and Special Counsel James Cole believe Gingrich's involvement in developing a strategy for a public response violated his agreement with the committee to remain silent on the matter. The report says the subcommittee met to consider what action to take in response to Gingrich's violation, and decided not to nullify its deal with Gingrich to settle the ethics matter.
"While there was serious concern about whether Mr. Gingrich had complied with the agreement, the subcommittee was of the opinion that the best interests of the House still lay in resolving the matter without a disciplinary hearing..." the report says.
"However, Mr. Gingrich's counsel was informed that the subcommittee believed a violation of the agreement had occurred and retained the right to withdraw from the agreement with appropriate notice to Gingrich. To date no such notice has been given."
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