FBI Considered Sting Against ... Newt?
Washington Post story is a 'hit job,' writes conservative blogger
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 16, 2011 10:32 AM CST
Newt Gingrich speaks during a Republican presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, Pool)

(Newser) – Most unusual political story of the day: The Washington Post, following up on a story at the DC Bureau blog, reports that the FBI considered a sting operation against Newt Gingrich while he was House speaker but ultimately decided against it because the evidence was too flimsy. It's a convoluted tale, but the gist is that an arms dealer accused Gingrich's wife at the time, Marianne, of soliciting a multimillion-dollar bribe. In exchange, she would use her sway with Newt to get the Iraqi arms embargo lifted. Marianne Gingrich says none of it is true, the arms dealer is now dead, and all this allegedly happened about 15 years ago.

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey accuses the Post of a "hit job" on Gingrich. "So, let’s get this straight. The FBI heard second- and third-hand that an arms dealer was bragging about having connections to Gingrich, who would singlehandedly lift the arms embargo on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq ... because a 'cooperating witness' told them that he talked to someone who said he was acting on Marianne Gingrich’s behalf." The FBI looked into it and passed "because they had no evidence that Gingrich even knew any of this was taking place." This, he concludes, is a "non-story" that would not have been published against a Democratic candidate. Read the full Post story here.