Representative Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is widely known and highly regarded for his tough but fair personality, frequently appearing on major news networks to provide insights often critical of congressional politics. One of the topics that the former prosecutor has been most outspoken about is the investigation into Russia-Trump collusion. In a recent interview, he identified Trump’s biggest enemy: the United States Congress.
“Congress has proven itself incapable of conducting serious investigations,” Gowdy remarked on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday.
In recent months, we have seen the release of several memos containing the findings of two separate congressional investigations into possible Russian collusion.
The first memo, authored by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), was released in early February by Republicans of the House Intelligence Committee. It exonerated President Trump of any wrongdoing and alleged that the FBI used questionable means to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court to spy on a member of then-candidate Trump’s campaign team.
Later that same month, the Democrats of the same committee issued a response memo, authored by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), which claimed to “set the record straight” by demonstrating that the FISA warrant was properly obtained by the FBI.
Again, the Republicans issued a response, refuting the Democrat’s memo, and the back and forth has continued since, especially between the two authors of the memos. The partisan divide in the committee grew so bad that there were plans to build a wall separating Republican aides from their Democrat staffers.
This is the exact sort of thing that Gowdy has spoken so vehemently against.
Not so serious investigations
“Congressional investigations leak like the ‘Gossip Girls,’ said Gowdy on Face the Nation. “They – I mean, they’re terrible and I would be telling you that if I were staying in Congress. They are just not serious.”
Gowdy is no stranger to congressional investigations. From 2014 to 2016, the congressman headed the House Select Committee, which spent over two years investigating the events surrounding the 2012 Benghazi attack and eventually uncovered Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Since 2017, the South Carolina representative has also been the head of the House Oversight Committee, and most recently he played a role in the House Intelligence Committee’s collusion investigation.
“Serious investigations don’t leak,” continued the congressman. “Serious investigations don’t make up their mind first and then go in search of the evidence to validate your previously held conviction.”
The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation was riddled with leaks from members on both sides of the aisle.
Gowdy went on to take aim at Schiff, the author of the Democrat’s memo, who a year ago claimed to have evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, and yet has still failed to produce anything.
“I think Adam Schiff in March of 2017 said he had evidence more than circumstantial but not direct,” said Gowdy.
And oh, by the way there is no body of evidence that’s more than circumstantial but not direct, but he said he had it of collusion and we’ve been waiting for — for over a month and — for over a year now for him to actually produce that – that evidence. That is not serious. And — and I’m hoping that either the Senate investigation or Mueller will – will be more objective.
The lack of objectivity in Congress is the exact reason why Gowdy has decided to leave Congress, “where facts don’t matter,” and to return to his job as a lawyer. Facts may not matter in Congress, but Gowdy will be missed.
Robert Ayers is a writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor’s degree from Quinnipiac University and a JD from the University of Connecticut.