Gowdy: Acting AG Could Appoint a Second Special Counsel to Investigate SpyGate
Outgoing Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Wednesday evening said that there is a chance that acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker will appoint a special counsel to investigate the Obama administration for espionage abuses against the Trump campaign. Congressional Republicans called for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate alleged misconduct at the FBI and Justice Department back in May, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions denied the request.
Gowdy told Fox News "Special Report" host Brett Baier that he wasn't surprised that Sessions was asked to step down, but added that he didn't know it would happen "before all the votes had been counted."
"It was going to happen... he's been a proverbial dead man walking for several months now," Gowdy said.
Baier asked the congressman for his reaction to Senator Schumer, who said earlier in the day that any attorney general Trump nominates should not be able to interfere with the Mueller probe in any way.
Gowdy answered: "Every prosecutor has jurisdictional boundaries. I don't know a single prosecutor that does not and Mueller's jurisdictional boundaries were set by Rod Rosenstein in the memo that you have seen, and they were altered or amended in the memo that we have not seen. But there's never been a prosecutor that just had unfettered power to go investigate whatever the heck he or she wanted to do."
Gowdy added, "The notion that we're going to create a special counsel that has no boss, no jurisdictional strictures at all is just typical Chuck Schumer and I think it's why so few people take him seriously."
When asked why he thought Rosenstein, the next man in line, hadn't been appointed to the job, Gowdy quipped, "These are interesting times we're in," and lamented the fact that Congress wasn't able to question him a couple weeks ago. "I had 37 pages ... of questions for him, Bret!" Gowdy exclaimed.
"Of course he is alleged to have wanted to invoke the 25th Amendment and question the president's fitness for office, so I'm not sure that would have been the right pick, but he is overseeing the Mueller probe right now. I don't think anything's going to happen to Rod until after Mueller finishes his investigation. And then what happens after that will be between the president and Rod."
Gowdy said that he didn't know when Mueller would wrap up his investigation, but noted that he hasn't seen a single piece of evidence to suggest collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
He added that he suspected the special counsel would issue "an exhaustive report on what Russia did," but the report would "disappoint CNN and all my Democrat friends by saying there's no evidence of collusion. That's what I think he's gonna do and I think it will happen before the end of the year," Gowdy said.
Baier asked the South Carolina congressman what he thought about a potential investigation into the Obama administration for spying on the Trump campaign.
"I think there ought to be a second special counsel to look at the origins of the Russia probe and the way the FBI conducted itself," Gowdy replied. "Chairman Goodlatte and I have been investigating to the extent we can without a grand jury and without compulsory process. We've been looking at what we can and I am deeply troubled about what the Department and the Bureau did and I think another special counsel is warranted and I thought that months ago."
Asked if he thought that would be more likely with the acting attorney general, Gowdy drawled, "Well, my chances were zero with Sessions because he said no, so not to quote the movie "Dumb and Dumber," but I guess it's one in a million. I guess it's better than it was with Sessions."
"You're saying you get a chance?" Baier asked.
"I'm saying there's a chance," said Gowdy.