During his second appearance on Fox News in two days, former congressman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) explained why he said DOJ investigators need to zero in on emails between John Brennan and James Comey from December of 2016.
The New York Times reported Monday evening that Attorney General William Barr has assigned John H. Durham, a U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to examine potential wrongdoing by the intelligence agencies during the 2016 election.
Gowdy told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum that there are two questions his investigators are going to want to focus on: whether the Steele dossier was unverified and uncorroborated when the FBI used it to obtain a FISA warrant, and when they began to corroborate it.
“What I’m telling Mr. Durham or whoever is going to look into this is, I think you’ll see late in 2016, well after it had been used, it was still unverified and the people responsible for it were referring to it as unverified and one or the other demanded that it be included in the intelligence assessment which then prompted the discussion you and I are having now,” Gowdy said.
While the former congressman was careful not to mention any names, rumors have swirled since last March that former CIA chief John Brennan is the one who insisted that the unverified Steele dossier be included in the 2017 U.S. intelligence Assessment of Russian Interference in the 2016 Election.
“A high-level source tells me it was Brennan who insisted that the unverified and fake Steele dossier be included in the Intelligence Report,” Senator Rand Paul tweeted on March 27. “Brennan should be asked to testify under oath in Congress ASAP.”
Legendary journalist Bob Woodward echoed those same accusations during an appearance on Fox News last month.
But during an interview on MSNBC in April, Brennan denied that he had anything to do with it: “Rand Paul and others make these very specious allegations that have no basis in truth,” he complained. “But they put it into the bloodstream and then, unfortunately, certain networks will propagate that.”
Brennan added that the allegation was “180 degrees from the truth,” and pointed an accusatory finger at former FBI director James Comey.
“That’s absolutely incorrect and 180 degrees from the truth,” Brennan declared. “It was CIA that was pushing not to have it included, not to have it taken into account at all in that intelligence community assessment,” he said.
“This was something that Jim Comey and the FBI thought it was appropriate that Mr. Trump, who was going to become the president of the United States, would be aware of this report that is circulating and how it could be exploited by the Russians or others to try to undermine this government,” he explained.
According to MacCallum, Fox News intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge reported Tuesday night that Brennan had again claimed that it was Comey’s idea to put the dirty dossier in the intelligence report — not his or former Director of Intelligence James Clapper’s idea.
Gowdy said that “sometimes in the courtroom, when two people are blaming each other, they’re both right” but the truth of the matter would be pretty easy to sort out.
The veteran prosecutor told MacCallum that he’s seen the Comey-Brennan email himself and based on what he’s seen, Comey has “a better argument than Brennan.”
Gowdy reminded MacCallum that House Republicans called for a second special counsel over a year ago to look into all of these issues.
“Horowitz doesn’t have access to the grand jury, he doesn’t have access to former employees. He’s a wonderful investigator but he’s only as good as the tools he’s given,” he explained.
Because Durham has access to a grand jury and former employees, search warrants and subpoenas, “that’s your A-1 investigation,” Gowdy said.