The PJ Tatler

Time For Another Washington Post Hit on a Republican Presidential Candidate

It’s Newt Gingrich getting the business this time. The Post drags up a 14-year-old story about an FBI investigation that never happened. Gingrich was Speaker of the House at the time, Bill Clinton was president, so any potential investigation involving Gingrich would have required very high approval, lest it appear to be a political vendetta dressed up as a true investigation. Here is how the Post deals with that.

The investigation began after the arms dealer, Sarkis Soghanalian, told federal prosecutors and FBI agents in Miami that Marianne Gingrich said during a meeting in Paris in 1995 that she could provide legislative favors through her husband. The case progressed to the point that it was deemed a major investigation requiring approval in Washington.

And here’s the real meat of the story, which the Post relegates to its second page.

The investigation foundered because there was no evidence against Newt Gingrich to establish “predication” — a basis to believe the target was engaging in or about to engage in criminal activity — according to people familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case. FBI policy requires predication before significant undercover operations are initiated.“There wasn’t any direct evidence that he knew anything,” said a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “The rules are you just can’t go in there and do an integrity check on someone.”

So there was nothing there. Why then did the Post bother to write the story at all?

First, it provides a chance to fire up a salacious headline accompanied by a creepy photo of Gingrich:

FBI considered a sting aimed at Newt Gingrich in 1997

And it provides an opportunity to bring up Gingrich’s marital history, as the story centers mainly on Marianne Gingrich, he second wife.

The Post’s story is every bit as devious and underhanded as its story about that rock out in West Texas, and bears about as much relevance to the current times.