Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said on Thursday that he would be “shocked” if Attorney General Jeff Sessions knew that Congress has been requesting documents from his department pertaining to the infamous anti-Trump dossier. The attorney general will know about it soon, the congressman surmised, because the deadline to produce them is next week — September 14 to be exact.
Earlier this week, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the FBI and the Justice Department for documents relating to the “dodgy dossier.”
In a separate development on Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced that he would like former FBI Director James Comey to return to the Hill to answer more questions about the Hillary Clinton email case. Last week, Senators Graham and Grassley revealed that they have seen transcripts indicating that Comey began drafting a statement announcing his decision not to refer then Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for prosecution long before interviewing key witnesses, including Clinton herself. “This doesn’t add up, and I smell a rat here,” Graham told Fox News.
Gowdy appeared on Fox’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum” to explain what information the House Intelligence Committee is requesting from the FBI and DOJ.
The South Carolina congressman explained that his committee is trying to find out if the discredited dossier was used by the FBI to launch either a law enforcement or counter-intelligence investigation.
“It’s fine if it were or if it weren’t — as long as you let me know how you vetted the information in the dossier,” he said.
Gowdy added that the question of who commissioned the report is important, but stressed that he is much more interested in finding out if the underlying data was accurate.
“The only way to know whether it’s accurate is for the bureau to investigate the sources, and the sub-sources and then I would think everyone would want to know — did our premiere law enforcement agency — the FBI — rely on this document to initiate a criminal probe? Or on court filings in representations before a court? That is an eminently legitimate question and I really don’t know why it’s taken the department this long to answer it,” he argued.
MacCallum wondered why the Republican attorney general would be having trouble getting answers to these questions.
“I’d be shocked if it’s made it up to General Sessions’ level yet,” Gowdy replied, pointing out that the deadline to produce the documents is coming up next week.
The former prosecutor chose his words carefully when asked about Senator Graham’s call for Comey to return to the Hill.
“There is a basis for which to question Director Comey on whether or not he reached a conclusion with respect to Hillary Clinton before he interviewed all the witnesses,” he began. “There’s more than an evidentiary basis that he reached the conclusion before he interviewed her,” he argued.
“So it is, again, not illegitimate to ask a law enforcement officer — did you make your mind up before the end of the investigation? If you’re ever in a courtroom, the one thing the judge will tell the jury — you cannot make your mind up until the last witness has testified,” Gowdy said.
“And the reason for that is the last witness may tell you all the information you need to know,” he continued. “So how you can reach a conclusion before you’ve interviewed all the witnesses is befuddling and if that were done or if it weren’t done, Comey deserves a chance to explain it. But Senator Graham deserves the right to ask the question,” he concluded.