New York (CNN) - White House hopeful Newt Gingrich welcomed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's threat to unearth information from an ethics investigation from when the Republican presidential candidate was serving in Congress.
Pelosi was part of the ethics investigative subcommittee that evaluated the charges against the Republican presidential candidate when he was House Speaker in the late 90s.
Gingrich declared the committee "capriciously political" and a "tainted political ethics operation" because Pelosi, a lightning rod among conservatives, was involved. He said it would be an "early Christmas gift" from Pelosi if she revealed classified information from the committee's report.
"Well if she's suggesting she's going to use material that she developed while she was on the ethics committee, that is a fundamental violation of the rules of the House and I would hope that members would immediately file charges against her the second she does it," said Gingrich. "I think it tells you how capriciously political that committee was that she was on it. It tells you how tainted the outcome was that she was on it."
According to the minority leader's office, Pelosi never intended to release information that is not already in the public domain.
"Leader Pelosi was clearly referring to the extensive amount of information that is in the public record, including the comprehensive committee report with which the public may not be fully aware," said Pelosi spokesperson Nadeam Elshami.
Earlier in the day, in an interview with the left-leaning news site, Talking Points Memo, Pelosi said, "One of these days we'll have a conversation about Newt Gingrich," she said. "When the time is right…I know a lot about him. I served on the investigative committee that investigated him, four of us locked in a room in an undisclosed location for a year. A thousand pages of stuff."
In 1997, the House voted to reprimand the Gingrich and was ordered to pay a $300,000 penalty for failing to ensure the tax-deductible charitable contributions that financed a college course he taught did not violate federal tax law and for giving the House ethics committee false information.
Three years later, the Internal Revenue Service cleared the organizations involved of possible tax violations.
Gingrich defended his ethics record.
"We turned over a million pages of material. We had a huge report. The total – 83 charges were repudiated as false. The one mistake we made was a letter written by a lawyer that I didn't read carefully enough. That is the only mistake made in the entire process. Every other charge against me was found false in the long run. The course was totally legal, the work we did with the foundation for totally legal, but as you know, corrections often appear on page 17, not on page one."