Newt Gingrich Floats ‘Jail Time’ for January 6th Committee Members
On January 24 2022, an Imgur user shared a screenshot of a news article, which reported that Newt Gingrich had stated members of the January 6th Commission could face jail time under future Republican leadership:
On the screenshot, a source was visible (the UK’s Independent), as well as a date — January 23 2022. The post itself was titled “The final veil drops. Fascists without question”; its headline and subheading read:
Newt Gingrich predicts Jan 6 committee members could be jailed if GOP takes back Congress
‘The wolves are going to find out that they’re now sheep and they’re the ones who I think are going to face a real risk of jail,’ former [House] speaker says[.]
That article was real and accurately represented, published on the date visible in the screenshot. It reported in part:
“You’re going to have a Republican majority in the House and a Republican majority in the Senate,” Mr Gingrich told Fox News on Sunday.
“All these people who have been so tough and so mean and so nasty are going to be delivered subpoenas for every document, every conversation, every tweet, every email because I think it’s clear that these are people who have just been running over the law pursuing innocent people, causing them to spend thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees for no justification,” he added.
Mr Gingrich added that “the wolves are going find out that they’re now sheep and they’re the ones who I think are going to face a real risk of jail for the kind of laws that they are breaking”.
A January 23 2022 post to r/politics also referenced Gingrich’s comments, linking to a RollingStone.com article:
Newt Gingrich, Who Is Advising GOP Leadership, Floats Jail Time for Jan. 6 Committee Members from politics
A post to r/politics on January 24 2022 referenced Gingrich’s commentary and linked to a Newsweek.com item about Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney’s response to it. That reporting relied on a January 23 2022 tweet by Cheney, with a clip of Gingrich making the remarks on Fox News:
A former Speaker of the House is threatening jail time for members of Congress who are investigating the violent January 6 attack on our Capitol and our Constitution.
This is what it looks like when the rule of law unravels. https://t.co/vpQZjTg9em
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) January 23, 2022
Fox News shared a longer version of the segment, which featured Gingrich and on-air personality Maria Bartiromo, to its YouTube channel; the remarks started at approximately 4:40. The outlet didn’t lead with Gingrich’s “jail” commentary, titling the video “Newt Gingrich: Democrats are ‘running over people’s civil liberties.'”
CNN’s Chris Cilizza addressed the comments in an editorial, connecting them to an opinion piece written by Gingrich earlier in January 2022:
The closest Gingrich got to actually explaining himself was when he told Bartiromo that the members of the House committee were “literally just running over the law, pursuing innocent people,” adding that “it’s basically a lynch mob.”
I went searching for what the heck Gingrich was actually talking about and came across an op-ed he wrote [January 20 2022] entitled “The Wolves Will Become Sheep.” The piece reads like a longer version of his riff with Bartiromo. In one section, Gingrich writes:
“The January 6 Select Committee is in the process of potentially bankrupting scores of Americans who worked for or supported President Trump. They face financial ruin defending themselves against the committee’s attack. The legal costs of fighting subpoenas and the further cost of legal counsel if put under oath by a hostile congressional committee creates a real burden. That financial burden is compounded by the psychological stress of being under assault by the House Democrats — and potentially also the FBI.”
His solution? A new Republican majority should form a “Select Committee on Congressional Dishonesty and Abuse of Power” to examine the work of the January 6 committee.
British newspaper The Guardian quoted a member of the January 6th Committee in response to Gingrich’s threat (and other, related political discourse):
Another member of the committee, the Democrat Zoe Lofgren, told CNN Gingrich’s comments were “just bizarre. I think Newt has really lost it. You know, it leaves me speechless.”
Alluding to Trump’s attempt to overturn his defeat in part through the Capitol putsch, Lofgren added: “I mean, unless he is assuming that the government does get overthrown and there’s no system of justice.”
Most observers expect Republicans to at least retake the House in November  and to turn their sights on Democrats, who impeached Trump twice, and Joe Biden.
But some see a legal net closing on Trump himself. Last week it emerged that the 6 January committee has requested interviews with figures including Ivanka Trump, a move that prompted the former president to complain about “vicious people” who “go after children”.
Ivanka Trump is 40. Furthermore, Donald Trump’s niece was among observers to point out that Trump himself has no problem going after other people’s children.
On Imgur and other social media platforms, posts alluded to Newt Gingrich’s suggestion that members of the January 6th Committee could face the “real risk of jail” for their participation in the investigation. The remarks were real, accurately represented, and occurred during a January 23 2022 appearance on Fox News. Gingrich’s remarks drew condemnation from several lawmakers, including members of the Committee.