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Newt Gingrich: 'Independent' Investigator Needed for Trump-Russia Probe

Gingrich advised President Trump to "take a lesson from the past" and assign a "very smart, independent person" to take on that investigatory role.
Image: Newt Gingrich
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich introduces Donald Trump at a rally last month in Ft. Myers, Fla.Evan Vucci / AP

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wants a special investigator to review the Trump team's alleged contact with Russian officials during the campaign — one of the few prominent Republicans calling for such an examination.

Gingrich, when asked about the use of a special prosecutor Tuesday on Fox News, advised President Donald Trump to "take a lesson from the past" and assign a "very smart, independent person" to take on that investigatory role.

"Maybe somebody like Michael Mukasey, former attorney general [under George W. Bush] — put them in charge of the whole project, and say, you know, there are questions here, the country has questions, the media has questions, even members of Congress (have) questions," Gingrich said.

He added that it's crucial to have a point person who can work with the Trump administration and handle the mounting queries surrounding Russia, from initial allegations that Moscow meddled in the November election to reports that Trump's presidential campaign staffers had contact with the Russians to former national security adviser Mike Flynn resigning over his contact with a Russian ambassador.

"The earlier [the administration has] a central person directing their efforts, the less problem it’ll be, the faster it’ll go away," Gingrich said.

Related: Sen. Cotton on Russia Inquiry: No Need for Special Prosecutor Just Yet

While Democrats have called for a special prosecutor or a select committee to investigate, most Republican lawmakers have stopped short of demanding such a move.

But Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif, said Monday that a special prosecutor could be warranted if there were allegations of wrongdoing.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday on TODAY that members of Congress’ intelligence committees have begun a general investigation into the Russia-related reports.