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Newt's Erroneous Ethics Alibi

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Newt Gingrich falsely claimed the House ethics panel that voted to reprimand him in 1997 was "a very partisan political committee." He was also off base when he said the inquiry was "a Pelosi-driven effort."

In fact, the House Committee on Ethics is the only House panel evenly divided by party. And Pelosi was a relatively junior House member and not in a leadership position at the time. It's true she was one of four members on the subcommittee that conducted the investigation, but she was just one of eight members on the full committee -- which dismissed 83 of the charges that other Democrats brought against Gingrich.

The ethics panel was far from a "partisan" committee. Three of the panel's Republican members joined all four Democrats in the 7-1 vote to recommend that the full House reprimand Gingrich -- on a single charge of misleading the committee.

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