New Freddie Mac contract prohibits 'lobbying activities'
January 25th, 2012
12:04 AM ET
2 years ago

New Freddie Mac contract prohibits 'lobbying activities'

(CNN) - Newt Gingrich was specifically prevented from lobbying Congress on behalf of the mortgage giant Freddie Mac in 1999 and the early 2000s, according to a contract released Tuesday by the firm he founded.

The contract, which covered services rendered by the Gingrich Group from May 1, 1999 through December 31, 2000, states specifically: "Nothing herein is or shall be construed as an agreement to provide lobbying services of any kind or engage in lobbying activities."

The document continues, "Newt Gingrich and Group do not provide lobbying services of any kind and do not engage in lobbying activities. Neither The Gingrich Group nor Newt Gingrich will provide lobbying services of any kind nor participate in lobbying activities of Freddie Mac's behalf."

The release of the contract comes one day after the Gingrich Group released a separate contract with Freddie Mac, covering work beginning in 2006. That document did not contain the explicit no-lobbying provisions, stating only that Gingrich's firm was contracted to "provide consulting and related services" to Freddie Mac.

The 1999-2000 document offered more specifics about Gingrich's services. Among the firm's duties were serving as "advisor to Freddie Mac in areas of strategic planning and public policy," "meeting with major stakeholders of Freddie Mac to discuss business and public policy issues," and engaging "in discussions with Mitchell Delk and other senior officers of Freddie Mac."

Mitchell Delk was Freddie Mac's senior vice president for government relations, according to the contract.

Gingrich's firm provided consulting services to Freddie Mac for roughly six years in total, approximately half of which are covered by the two released contracts. On Monday, the Gingrich Group said they couldn't locate the contracts from other years, but told CNN on Tuesday evening the latest release was found in the company's warehouse.

Both the contract released Monday and the document released Tuesday show the Gingrich Group earned $25,000 per month for its services to Freddie Mac.

The role Gingrich played at Freddie Mac has become a sticking point for the candidate on the campaign trail. Rival GOP hopefuls are reissuing their claims the former House speaker lobbied for Freddie Mac as the campaign moves to Florida, site of the next primary showdown. Florida was hit particularly hard by the national housing crisis, which many Republicans pin on the failure of the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich
soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. kenny

    Any Federal Housing Agency that hires and pays the sum of $25,000.00 a month to a "Consultant" to be a "Historian" needs to have their entire upper management put in prison after being charged with and convicted of Gross Stupidity..

    January 25, 2012 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  2. kenny

    Newt "The Hoot" claims to have done some dumb things in his political life but the dumbest of them all was being Newt. Only problem with that is that it was natural.

    January 25, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  3. Thomas

    Lobbyist or Historian ?

    January 25, 2012 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  4. tim12

    obama has had 3 years to do somthing with freddie and fannie and has done nothing. that is more of a problem that newt's deal.

    January 25, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  5. AK_steve

    That was then, this is now. The recent contract did not have a "no-lobbying" clause. The showing-off of a contract over 10 years ago has nothing to do with the reality of the most recent one. Smoke and mirrors my friends... smoke and mirrors.

    January 25, 2012 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  6. AllThatsLeft

    If I give a "former" drug dealer a $1000 for "advice" on the best way to acquire drugs based on his "former" experiences in the business, and that enables me to acquire the drugs I was seeking, should he be charged or labeled as a criminal or drug dealer?

    January 25, 2012 04:26 am at 4:26 am |
  7. Paul

    So they paid Newt $1.6 million not to lobby. Yeah I'll buy that. Whatever you call it, whatever you put in the contract they were buying influence.

    January 25, 2012 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  8. The Middle

    Isn't there a rule that prohibits lobbying for one year after leaving office? I can see why this contract states no lobbying and the later service contract didn't because by then he was able to.

    January 25, 2012 04:54 am at 4:54 am |
  9. Charlie in Maine

    Oh thank goodness. I thought from your headline that this was going to be another :"Contract on America". I think we are done with that nonsense.

    January 25, 2012 04:59 am at 4:59 am |
  10. Mark

    Let me understand this correctly. He was hired by the chief lobbyist – to NOT do any lobbying Because, he is an Historian, that make at most $100K a year. Right, got ya. Thanks for clearing it all up.

    January 25, 2012 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  11. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    When Lizard wins in Florida, the dirty tricks GOBP will make what they did to Herman Cain look like a garden party. Defcon three mode.

    January 25, 2012 05:43 am at 5:43 am |
  12. Please Grow Up

    I guess now is as good a time as ever to release that document.

    January 25, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  13. Marie MD

    So they were paying him for his grandness? Give it a rest. You are talking to congress you are lobbying!

    January 25, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  14. Don

    Who could possibly question "Honest Newt". Shame on you Mitt Romney (if that is your real name?)

    January 25, 2012 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  15. yep

    Wow! And u ppl vote?! Ha ha

    January 25, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  16. Reagan Republican

    What are we to do as a Republican party? That's a lot of money for an advisor in areas of strategic planning and public policy to a man who was the VP of Government relations. Talk about splitting hairs with the wording. I thought Newt was a historian to Freddie Mac. Was he a historian or an advisor? Is VP of Government Relations another word for Lobbyist? So has the story changed or did we miss understand him? Newt has no integrity personally, privately or as a one time public official.

    January 25, 2012 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  17. Mark in ATL

    Ha, Oh well then, I guess he wasn't "lobbying." He was just taking huge amounts of money to peddle influence, open doors, etc.

    January 25, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  18. shimon

    A lobbyist by another name is a 'historian'...

    January 25, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  19. timz

    "Both the contract released Monday and the document released Tuesday show the Gingrich Group earned $25,000 per month for its services to Freddie Mac."

    If Newt wasn't lobbying then he was stealing, because he has nothing to peddle but influence.

    January 25, 2012 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  20. eddie

    Mitt Romney is clearly desperate, but I believe that it more has to do with the elite media picking a massachussets flip flopper to be our nominee, than anything. They liberals want the republicans to pick the weaker candidate. The reality is no matter how much Gingrich is disliked, the debates and policy attacks on Obama will definitely be much stronger coming from Newt, than they will be from Mittens.

    January 25, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  21. sick of republican phonies

    deceptive headline. The contract is not "new", it's "newly revealed". It covers 1999-2000; it says nothing about prohibiting lobbying in the 2006 contract. Apples to oranges. If anything, one could infer that lobbying WAS one of the "related services" in the newer contract, since the preclusion to lobbying was removed.

    January 25, 2012 07:25 am at 7:25 am |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Everyone can see things differently. Some see giving advice from a former powerful member of Congress as lobbying. Since Gingrich's group had many clients, he would have a hard time lobbying as a private citzen because of the appearance that it creates.

    January 25, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  23. mtdHouston

    Sounds enforceable,
    Freddie Mac is checking it everyday, going to take him to court if he breaks it.
    They got Newt's phones tapped, audits every week, and they trust him at his word.
    Take the money and run, history teacher. Your empire is calling, back to Republistan

    January 25, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    So. Apparently he has engaged in activities that can be construed as lobbying. He first described his activities as a historian, and now he is calling it consulting. Why was the clause even put int he contract in the first place? What was the point? Why did they have to spell out this tightly defined line over lobbying? Lobbying isn't illegal. There is something very wrong with the unfolding picture.

    January 25, 2012 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  25. hah

    Gingrich Romney and Santorum all had money invested IN BANKRUPTING US.

    Ron Paul 2012

    January 25, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
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