Former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said Tuesday evening that he does not believe former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s claim that he informed Republican and Democrat leaders in 2017 that the bureau had opened a second counterintelligence probe of President Donald Trump.
McCabe told Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today show Tuesday that the FBI briefed the “Gang of Eight” about the investigation he himself opened into Trump to probe whether he was a national security threat, and none of the lawmakers objected.
Gowdy, a former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, was on Fox News’ The Story with Martha MacCallum to talk about McCabe’s latest claims.
He said he didn’t know about the investigation, and he doesn’t think the Gang of Eight — the leaders of two parties from the House and Senate, along with the leaders of each chamber’s intelligence committee — knew about it either.
Gowdy said that the reason McCabe would level an accusation like that is because he knows that the lawmakers are not allowed to discuss anything that is said in a Gang of Eight meeting, so they can’t refute him.
“I listened to Devin [Nunez] and Paul [Ryan] quiz the DOJ and the FBI for hours on multiple occasions about the one counterintelligence investigation we all knew about,” said Gowdy. “I find it stunning that they would know about a second one and not say a single, solitary word. And I will continue to not believe they knew about it unless one or the other contradicts it.”
The first probe — which everyone knows about — was the 2016 counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign to see whether it conspired with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. That one is being investigated by the DOJ’s inspector general.
“Now McCabe says there was one in May of 2017 in addition to the criminal investigation into obstruction of justice,” Gowdy said incredulously.
On The View Tuesday, Meghan McCain asked McCabe if he believes the Russians ordered Trump to fire then-FBI Director James Comey. McCabe replied: “We don’t know and we certainly didn’t know that at the time.”
Asked to respond to McCabe’s view that Trump could be a Russian agent, Gowdy exclaimed: “If thinking that Jim Comey is not a good FBI director is tantamount to being an agent of Russia, then just list all the people that are agents of Russia!” Some other possible suspects he suggested included “Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Rod Rosenstein — who wrote the memo getting rid of Comey — Michael Horowitz, who’s the inspector general.”
“I mean, look, I know McCabe liked Jim Comey…. But lots of people thought that Jim Comey had lost the ability to lead that department,” Gowdy said. “And the fact that President Trump got rid of him in May of 2017 is not sufficient basis to launch a criminal obstruction of justice probe!”
Gowdy explained why the argument doesn’t make sense. Trump “gets rid of Comey, replaces him with a Comey acolyte who not only continues the probe but expands it. So if his goal was to obstruct a Russia investigation, gosh, he did a terrible job of it!”
None of the Gang of Eight lawmakers have commented on McCabe’s claim, but everything he would have told them about the Trump investigation would have been in a classified setting.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) also cast doubt on McCabe’s claims earlier Tuesday, saying, “I was never informed or I would have objected.”
He added: “The bottom line is you can’t trust Andy McCabe. He’s lied three times under oath, he was fired at the FBI, and he’s currently under investigation at the Justice Department.”