— Cardinal Richelieu
As quoted in The Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations (1896) by Jehiel K̀eeler Hoyt, p. 763
Édouard Fournier, in L'Espirit dans l'Historie (1867), 3rd edition, Ch. 51, p. 260, disputes the traditional attribution, and suggests various agents of Richelieu might have been the actual author.
David Hackett Fischer, in Champlain's Dream (2009), Simon & Schuster, p. 704, n. 14, says it's a paraphrase of Quintilian and there is no source closer to Richelieu than Francoise Bertaut's Memoires pour servir à l'histoire d'Anne d'Autriche.
Give me six lines written by the most honest man in the world, and I will find enough in them to hang him.
Attributed in Dictionary of Foreign Phrases and Classical Quotations (1908) edited by Hugh Percy Jones, p. 327
If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged.
As quoted in America Debates Privacy Versus Security (2007) by Jeri Freedman
Give me six lines written by the most honest man, and I will find something there to hang him.
As quoted in Champlain's Dream (2008), Simon & Schuster, p. 391, by David Hackett Fischer, footnoted with disputation above.