Congressman Trey Gowdy is no “shrinking violet.” He’s a former prosecutor who reminds us more of a bulldog than a mild-mannered Congressman from South Carolina. On Sunday Rep. Gowdy displayed the fire we’ve all come to love during a conversation with CBS’ John Dickerson on Face the Nation.
Gowdy got his hackles up when Dickerson implied, and then pushed for Gowdy to agree, that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) had acted out of turn by informing the White House that he had found information that supported President Trump’s wiretapping concerns.
John Dickerson: “I want to start with this question of unmasking that Chairman Nunes brought out. Has he shown you any of what caused him to suggest that Obama officials are doing surveillance, captured some Trump campaign associates and then unmasked them in the process of investigating?”
Trey Gowdy: “He has not shown it to me, John. I am vaguely familiar with it, no more, no less familiar with it than Adam Schiff is. I just tell you this. My understanding is that Chairman Nunes briefed the commander in chief on matters unrelated to the Russian investigation, so if that is big deal in Washington, then we have sunk to a new low.”
John Dickerson: “Well, I guess Congressman Schiff would say but the president is the one that is a part of this investigation being done by the committee, so the chairman shouldn’t be talking to him.”
Trey Gowdy: “Well, then, let me repeat what I said. That the chairman of house intel briefed the commander in chief that has nothing to do with the Russian investigation. So if the commander in chief cannot be briefed by the chairperson of the House Intel Committee on a matter that has nothing to do with the FBI investigation, then I don’t know what they can talk about, John… He’s the Commander-in-Chief!”
John Dickerson: “So if this is an issue outside of the one they are investigating at the moment in the committee and that you are investigating, should it then be taken out of this investigation? Have a separate investigation on both the issues that Chairman Nunes has discovered this week and then also the one you are quite concerned about which is the leaks that have been in the paper, some of them potentially illegal, get that out of this question of Russia to keep things from getting mixed the way they appear to have?”
Trey Gowdy: “Well, they are separate and I heard my friend from California mention that independent commission, thank goodness we have one, it is called the FBI, the FBI has counterintelligence jurisdiction and they have criminal jurisdiction, and what we learned on Monday, and it is about the only thing we learned on Monday was that the FBI’s investigating both. They are the world’s premiere law enforcement agency, they are independent, you have women and men at the Department of Justice who have dedicated their careers to the blind pursuit of justice. It doesn’t get any more independent than that. So we have an independent entity investigating counter-intelligence and allegations of potential criminality, let Congress do its job which is provide oversight over the intelligence community.”
John Dickerson: “Do you have any sense from the chairman about the schedule of when this new information that we have been talking about here, this question of unmasking, when you might have enough information to make a judgment about whether this is, in fact, something that was done improperly or whether, as Congressman Schiff said, this is just the normal procedures for going through unmasking?”
Trey Gowdy: “It is just one more reason to bring Director Comey and Rogers back on Tuesday. It’s incredibly important. Adam is right, that Adam is right that the incidental collection of U.S. persons happens. What I wish some of my friends over on the other side would be a little more outraged about is the political use of that unmasking. So I understand we collect U.S. citizens but we don’t read about those U.S. citizens on the first page of the New York Times and the Washington Post. That admission to threatening the surveillance programs is also a felony. So I hope that we learn more about that on Tuesday. All of this is important, John. Every bit of it. Russia is not our friend. They attacked our Democracy. I want to investigate every fact that is related there to, but the felonious dissemination of classified information is the only thing we know for sure is a crime, and it would be nice if we showed the same level of interest in that.”
Dickerson closed the segment by asking Congressman Gowdy if the health of the House Intelligence Committee was at question with all of the controversy revolving around it. Rep. Gowdy said that the committee was fine, but that he did wish they could handle parts of their investigation behind closed doors so that they could get more and better answers from the intelligence leaders they were questioning.
We need more of this from Congressman Gowdy and other GOP leaders on the Hill. The notion that Rep. Nunes can’t speak to the President about finding intelligence that shows someone broke the law is absurd, especially when the Democrat Party didn’t seem to care when the Attorney General was having private conversations with the husband (Bill Clinton) of a woman she was supposed to be investigating (Hillary Clinton). Rep. Nunes is the Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, as such he should be working closely with the President every single day, otherwise how could our government respond to intelligence in the most efficient manner possible?
Keep at it Congressman Gowdy, we need truth from our government even it means politicians are losing their jobs.