Gowdy UPDATE: GOWDY to Advise on Trump Impeachment - Page 2 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Gowdy: Mueller a 'quintessential straight arrow'
BY MAX GREENWOOD - 06/17/17 05:23 PM EDT 477

Gowdy: Mueller a 'quintessential straight arrow'
© Moriah Ratner
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the new chairman of the House Oversight Committee, says he still has faith in special counsel Robert Mueller despite accusations by some Republicans that the former FBI director is politicizing the Russia investigation.

“I do have confidence in [Mueller]. I have confidence in the women and men he has assembled on this team,” Gowdy told the Wall Street Journal, saying that special counsel is "your quintessential straight arrow."

Gowdy also said that he has refrained from developing a relationship with President Trump, because of his role on the oversight and intelligence committees, which are both investigating Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Gowdy took over Rep. Jason Chaffetz's (R-Utah) role at the helm of the oversight panel this week. Chaffetz abruptly announced earlier this year that he would not run for re-election and that he would leave Congress at the end of June before his term is up.

Gowdy's comments on Mueller come as some Republicans have cast doubt on the special counsel's ability to conduct the Justice Department investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, citing his friendship with fired FBI Director James Comey and his early decision to hire investigators that have donated to Democratic political campaigns.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel last month just days after Trump's abruptly fired Comey, who was previously charged with leading the law enforcement probe of Russian election meddling.

Mueller's appointment was widely hailed by Democrats and Republicans as a fair and capable law enforcement official that would carry out the Russia probe free of political bias or interference.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Mueller had expanded his investigation to include whether Trump himself attempted to obstruct justice, by allegedly pressing Comey and other intelligence officials to interfere in federal investigations.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/33828 ... ight-arrow
That actually sounds pretty levelheaded. I assumed that because Gowdy was beloved by shitbags everywhere for DESTROYING Obama and the Democrats with VERBAL NAPALM that he would act like a shithead.

Although there's still plenty of opportunity for that, it's just words at this point. I'm still lolling that Chaffetz destroyed his career by immediately running to the people he was investigating with the findings of his investigation.

Personally I like the Monster Truck Rally aesthetic for Trey Gowdy video titles, especially when you apply it to other things. Like, SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY Single man with LARGE MUSTARD STAIN on his polo DESTROYS 20 Subway footlong meatball subs IN A SINGLE SITTING and then OBLITERATES HIS TOILET
I think the concern amongst Democrats is what Gowdy represents to them, mainly in conjunction with his Benghazi committee chairmanship: that is to say, as a partisan executor of the Republican agenda. The concern at the moment that Gowdy has only YouTube vids and his statuesque persona to recommend him as an aggressive investigator is a fair characterization, but I think a mistake. Gowdy has historically been more than willing to work with Democrats to get to the truth. His background as a state prosecutor is worth looking into: Gowdy's method is to slowly, but inexorably, work around to the heart of the issues, than hammer them relentlessly: a method I approve of in solicitors. In Congress, Gowdy represents the professional faction of the GOP, of which there isn't much left at this point: those more interested in the job than the partisan bickering. Again though, it is now on Gowdy to deliver and I think everyone is watching to see if he'll do it. I expect he will, but the relentless approach he uses may be too confusing for the sound bite media to appreciate: until he brings down the hammer on his next victim, that is.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpos ... story.html
Trey Gowdy now has the House Oversight gavel. But will he investigate Trump?
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) questions former CIA director John Brennan during a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on May 23 on Capitol Hill. Gowdy is now chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
By Mike DeBonis
June 18 at 12:15 PM
Rep. Trey Gowdy secured one of Congress’s most powerful investigative posts last week. But it remains unclear how — or if — he’ll use it to investigate President Trump.

Voted in as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday, Gowdy (R-S.C.) possesses nearly boundless jurisdiction to probe executive branch misdeeds and abuses.

[Trey Gowdy poised to seize House Oversight gavel after Jason Chaffetz departs]

His predecessor, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who is retiring from Congress next week, had taken some halting steps to investigate Trump — requesting, for instance, memorandums written by former FBI director James B. Comey about his meetings with the president and documents related to Trump's downtown Washington hotel.

But there are signs that Gowdy, a former state and federal prosecutor who led the rancorous House probe into the 2012 Benghazi attacks, may defer those inquiries to other congressional investigations and to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

“The last thing he’ll want to do is impede any sort of investigation,” Chaffetz said of Gowdy. “But we also have duties and obligations in the House. I trust that he’ll find the proper balance to that, and it’s a tricky one. It’s not easy.”

[Chaffetz will leave Congress June 30; Gowdy favored as next House Oversight chairman]

Gowdy’s office declined requests for an interview last week, citing an ongoing review of the committee’s staff and agenda. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Saturday, Gowdy said he saw his tenure as a “rare opportunity to depoliticize oversight” and said he had confidence in Mueller to lead the criminal probe into Trump’s orbit. He said he would prefer the committee focus on issues such as the federal workforce, the coming 2020 Census and drafting reform legislation.

A GOP aide acknowledged last week that Gowdy had conversations with other committee chairmen in recent weeks about their potentially overlapping jurisdiction.

“Rep. Gowdy respects the jurisdiction of each committee and has had similar conversations with all committee chairs,” the aide said. “House rules clearly lay out the jurisdiction of each committee.”

Any decision to bow out of probing Trump could spark a partisan battle on the Oversight Committee, angering Democrats who watched Chaffetz and Gowdy vigorously pursue politically damaging probes into former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ahead of last year’s election.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), the second-ranked Democrat on the Oversight Committee, said any move to have the panel step aside from Trump probes would be a “recipe for very serious friction on the committee.”

“We are increasingly going to demand robust oversight on what we consider to be one of the most serious threats to American democracy,” he said.

Several Republican members and aides, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe Gowdy’s thinking before he publicly unveils his oversight priorities, said the 52-year-old South Carolinian is mindful of staying in his investigative lane.

Gowdy not only conducted criminal investigations before joining Congress, but he also now sits on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees — both panels with pending oversight interests in the Trump administration. Gowdy will be wary, the Republicans said, of treading on his colleagues’ turf or interfering with Mueller’s probe.

Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.), who is leading the Intelligence panel’s investigation into alleged Russian election interference and possible Trump links, said last week he “had some brief conversations” on the subject with Gowdy.

“I think Trey and I will work well together,” he said. “Obviously, he’s got two hats, and so I trust him to be able to manage that.”

Democrats have little patience for the notion that the Trump probes might be left to other committees. They pointed to multiple Obama administration issues in which the House Oversight panel conducted its own — often higher-profile — investigations of matters that were also being probed by other committees of jurisdiction.

Four other House committees — Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, Armed Services and Judiciary — also probed the Benghazi attack, for instance. The Ways and Means Committee probed reports of the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative nonprofit groups before then-Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) took the lead, and Issa’s rigorous investigation into the Justice Department’s handing of Operation Fast and Furious impinged on the Judiciary Committee’s turf.

“We had hearings on Benghazi. We had hearings on the IRS. That never stopped us before,” Connolly said. “Both Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz were more than willing to entertain conflict with other committees in order to engage in their own oversight and make their own imprint on the topics. So why would this to be an exception to that rule?”

Gowdy has yet to meet as chairman with the top Democrat on the Oversight panel, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), who has been recovering from heart surgery last month.

In a statement, Cummings said he hoped to talk to Gowdy about continuing bipartisan oversight initiatives on prescription drug prices and other issues, and also about exercising the panel’s “unique jurisdiction over White House officials, which includes the vetting system, the security clearance process, and the compliance with ethics rules.”

Chaffetz himself emphasized the breadth of the Oversight panel’s portfolio and said Gowdy will have considerably leeway to pick his targets.

“The beauty of the Oversight Committee is you have far-and-wide reach of jurisdiction,” he said. “There’s nothing that really holds you back. He’s very collegial and will want to work closely with the other committees, but he can still do it if he wants to.”

Treading on others’ turf can be treacherous in terms of the internal politics of the House, however, and Gowdy is widely seen among his GOP colleagues as a team player who is unlikely to rock boats for his own aggrandizement.

[Why is Jason Chaffetz, who is quitting Congress, suddenly the face of its investigation into Trump?]

Chaffetz was not always seen in that light, and his quick move earlier this year to seek Comey’s memos raised some hackles, according to several members and aides.

“That’s water under the bridge,” Conaway said, acknowledging the tensions. “I have great confidence in Trey.”

Gowdy is a conservative Republican, but he also has few personal or political ties to Trump. He endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida during the presidential race, and took heat from the Trump for the endorsement. “His hearings were a disaster,” Trump said of Gowdy on Fox News in December 2015, referring to the Benghazi probe. Earlier this year, Gowdy returned donations from a pro-Trump super PAC, and he said in the Wall Street Journal interview that he has made an assiduous attempt to keep his distance from the president.

There are pending committee inquiries into Trump matters that Gowdy now inherits. In late May, for instance, the FBI responded to Chaffetz’s request for Comey’s memos by citing Mueller’s appointment and saying it would undertake “appropriate consultation to ensure all relevant interests implicated by your request are properly evaluated.”

“How [Gowdy] deals with that, what he does, I don’t yet know,” Chaffetz said of the special counsel. “It’s up to him.”

Even if Gowdy were to give Mueller a wide berth, Democrats say he still has plenty of space to explore other Trump allegations — particularly whether the president is violating his hotel lease and potentially the Constitution by continuing to own major assets while in office.

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[Meet Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the Democrat fast becoming the face of opposition to President Trump]

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee who also served with Gowdy on the Benghazi panel, said he hoped Gowdy would “show the same diligence about looking into this administration as they did looking into the last one” and cited the constitutional prohibition on accepting foreign gifts or “emoluments.”

“There certainly appear to be violations of the emoluments clause on a pretty daily basis, and somebody needs to investigate those,” Schiff said. “Those are not within the purview, for the most part, of the Intelligence Committee. They are directly under the purview of Government Reform.”

[Top Democrat on intelligence panel accuses White House of trying to distract Congress from Russia investigation

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jeh-johnson ... e-updates/

Jeh Johnson says FBI delayed notification of DNC cyberattack
Last Updated Jun 21, 2017 12:35 PM EDT

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified before the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday that to his knowledge, Russia did not alter vote tallies or ballots in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Johnson did admit that there was a delay between the time it took for the FBI to learn about the cyberattack at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the time it took for him to learn about the discovery as DHS secretary.

He led DHS amid Russian cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta, as well as attacks against state election databases last year. He advised states on how to protect themselves ahead of the election on Nov. 8.

Russian hacking efforts greater than previously reported
During the last open hearing held by the House Intelligence panel, former CIA Director John Brennan told lawmakers that Russia may have successfully tried to recruit U.S. persons to influence the election. Brennan also said he was aware of intelligence and information that revealed contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign. He couldn't say, however, whether or not the activities amounted to collusion.

Live Updates:
Johnson is asked why Trump can't admit that Russia interfered in the election
The former DHS secretary said you'd have to ask the president, but added that he's seen various statements from him on that topic. Asked if that concerns him, Johnson said that a president and Cabinet members "depends on the intelligence community" and "otherwise, if you don't, you can't effectively do your job."

"You're flying blind," he said.

Johnson is asked how he can be confident no votes were altered
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-California, asked the question and also asked how the government can ensure Russia won't attempt to alter votes in subsequent elections. Johnson said he made the claim about votes not being altered based upon what he knows, but made clear he has not had access to classified information in five months.

Johnson said that he's "not sure" he had authority at DHS to investigate whether votes were altered. He said DHS does not engage in vote recounts and there are others who have that responsibility.

Schiff asks again why Obama didn't speak out against the cyberattacks more forcefully before the election
Johnson reiterated that he and Clapper did make a statement and adds, "We were very concerned that we not be perceived as taking sides in the election, injecting ourself into a very heated campaign or taking steps to themselves delegitimize the election process."

Meanwhile, at Senate Intel...an election official says 21 state election systems targeted by Russians
CBS News' Emily Tillett reports that Dr. Sam Liles, acting director of the Cyber Division of DHS, told the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday that prior to the election, DHS had no indication that any adversaries, including the Russian government, were planning activities that would change the outcome of the election. However, DHS did detect activities throughout the spring and summer 2016 and later received reports of cyber probing of election infrastructures.

He said election systems in 21 states were targeted in Russian cyber attacks in the 2016 presidential election.

Johnson says U.S. needs a "national leader" to take charge of the cyber issue
Johnson was asked what more the government should do in the future and he said to raise awareness about the "evils and hazards of spear-phishing." He said at the national level, someone should take the mantle of cybersecurity on "full time" to highlight the cyber issue. He said he would prefer that that person be from DHS.

"We really need a national leader to take charge of this issue," Johnson said.

Scale and scope of Russia's cyber efforts were "unprecedented," Johnson says
The former DHS secretary was asked by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, what more the administration could have done before the election. Johnson said "hindsight is brilliant" and he said, "I think it was unprecedented the scale and scope of what we saw them doing."

Schiff asks why it took the Obama administration so long to call out Russia for cyberattacks
Johnson explained that one of the candidates, President Trump, was claiming that the election would be "rigged" and that by accusing Russia of being responsible for the cyber intrusions would undermine the integrity of the process. That comment, therefore, prevented the administration from going public about Russia sooner, he suggested. Johnson released a joint statement with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Oct. 7 accusing Russia of being behind the attacks.

Designating U.S. election infrastructure as "critical infrastructure" was a "no-brainer," Johnson says
Johnson says that in his view, designating the election systems as critical infrastructure was a "no-brainer" and "should have been done years before."

He said that it's only confined to the election infrastructure and not the politicians and not and political parties. Johnson noted that 16 sectors were already considered critical infrastructure.

Johnson acknowledges there was a delay between DNC hack and him learning about it
He said his recollection is that the FBI first discovered the intrusion into the DNC and he said "I recall very clearly that there was a delay between that initial contact" with the DNC and when the report got to him as DHS secretary.

When it came to the initial scanning and probing of voter registration systems, it was discovered in late August, he said, and once it was found, he said that information came to him and other senior people at DHS "pretty quickly."

2016 election should be wake-up call to Congress and president, Johnson says
The former DHS secretary says the key question for the president and Congress is what will be done to protect the U.S. democracy from the threat of cyberattacks in the future. Johnson said that last year's "very troubling experience" highlights "cyber vulnerabilities in our political process and our election infrastructure."

Schiff says he hopes Johnson will describe the sense of debate at DHS amid cyberattacks
The top Democrat on the panel, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, said he'd like to hear from Johnson how the U.S. government responded to the Russian cyberattacks last year, the threat Russia posed and what steps the Obama administration took to protect election institutions.

Johnson will say in opening statement that Russia "did not alter ballots"
He released a 6-page prepared statement on the eve of the hearing that praises the Committee's investigation and calls out Russian President Vladimir Putin for orchestrating cyberattacks with the direct purpose of influencing the 2016 election

Also Tucker Carlson interview.


In the above photo, he looks like a grown up version of Draco Malfoy. :lol:


It's hard to tell if the voting program was actually compromised or not, is what Johnson is saying. Did they have the before and after records of how people would have voted had the Russians failed to break into the programs? I highly doubt it. At a time where technology is so rampant, anyone savvy enough can make it look like there was no intrusion at all or they can disguise their account as the administrator account and do stuff while the admin walks away from the desk to grab coffee or something. I would not be surprised if someone monitoring the software is actually a Russian agent. :hmm:
I just watched the Fox News interview. I think Gowdy's primary concern is the evidence. Everything coming out of the investigation- keeping in mind what we know, not what's classified - is that the Russians definately tried to intervene, but it looks like how successful they were is being kept secret for national security reasons. The Republicans, and Gowdy needs to speak to this more, are clearly unwilling to even broach the possibility of Trumps involvement. Other than McCain and Lindsey Graham, Gowdy has been very fair, he even stated in the Fox interview tonight that he thinks Comey is getting a raw deal because the closed session testimony paints a more nuanced picture than the public knows about. If you watch the Tucker Carlson interview, Gowdy states that they won't be finished interviewing witnesses especially until September, so the evidence simply isn't there yet. Does that mean Trump is innocent? No. But it does mean the Democrats need to be careful not to jump the gun here (paraphrasing David Brooks NBC interview)
I think it's obvious that Trump is innocent but we're seeing terms like "passive collusion" and "knowing beneficiary" being tossed around lately. I think it's pretty clear from recent elections how well this thing is going to work out. It appears to me to be more about virtue signaling to other leftists about how much you hate Trump, less about developing a winning strategy. The extremists who want to bring things to a head have become entrenched alongside the big money types in the DNC. The left looks broken to me. The extremists can never expect an electoral majority and the establishment looks incompetent.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/ill-be-d ... ny-leaked/

http://www.mediaite.com/online/intel-ch ... th-russia/

‘I’ll Be Damned!’: Trey Gowdy is Furious That Intel Chief Dan Coats’ House Testimony Leaked
by Joe DePaolo | 9:27 pm, June 22nd, 2017

Several stories have emerged with reported details of the testimony given by Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in a closed-door session before House investigators.

And Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is furious about it.

Appearing on Outfront Thursday, Gowdy — who sits on the House Intelligence Committee — sounded irate about the leaked testimony so soon after he and his Democratic counterpart on the committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) promised Coats that what he said in the session would not be made public.

About eight hours ago, Adam Schiff and I looked Dan Coats in the eyes and we assured him that there would be no selective leaking of his testimony to us. And I’ll be damned if eight hours later, there aren’t three different leaks with what he told us.

So if anyone is questioning why Congressional investigations aren’t taken seriously, and are viewed as political exercises, you need to look no further than the fact that we looked one of our intelligence officials in the eyes and promised him there would be no selective leaking. And here I am being asked about it not even eight hours later.

Gowdy believes the leaks could keep other witnesses from being forthcoming in closed-door sessions.

“You’re going to have a chilling effect on other witnesses who want to share classified, sensitive information when it makes its way to the headlines before the transcript’s even dry,” Gowdy said.

The South Carolina Congressman was asked about whether President Donald Trump‘s firing of FBI Director James Comey constitutes obstruction of justice. Gowdy replied that he’d leave that up to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

“Congress does not investigate crime,” Gowdy said. “We’re not equipped to do it. We’re not very good at it.”

More on the leaked testimony:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/coa ... be-n775756

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trey- ... le/2626881

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpos ... 29bf18778b

On Trump and Russia, Oversight Chair Trey Gowdy says he will stay in his lane

The new chairman of the House’s most powerful investigative committee said Friday that, with limited exceptions, his panel will not probe matters related to the alleged Russian interference in the presidential campaign — including President Trump’s possible obstruction of the federal investigation into it.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who was named chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week, told reporters that the investigation is more squarely under the purview of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and other congressional committees.

“I told Bob Mueller Tuesday that I would never do anything wittingly or unwittingly that veered over into his lane, and his lane is broad, and it is undetermined at this point,” he said.

[Trey Gowdy now has the House Oversight gavel. But will he investigate Trump?]

Gowdy referred to the Justice Department order appointing Mueller that authorized him to probe “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” into Russian election interference. “That’s pretty broad,” he said.

The decision to defer to other entities stands to vex Democrats who watched Gowdy and his predecessor, outgoing Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), vigorously pursue what they considered to be politically motivated probes into Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton even as Justice Department and other committees probed the same matters.

Gowdy said keeping clear of Mueller was a bipartisan sentiment: “I don’t think you are going to see many Republicans or Democrats wanting to get into that lane until the special counsel has completed his investigation.”

But Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, noted in a statement that the Justice Department has acknowledged the necessity of congressional oversight and said lawmakers “do not have the right to remain silent.”

“It is a known fact that interference in our election will happen again if we do not take serious steps to prevent it,” he said. “The voters did not send us here to sit on the sidelines while our government is getting attacked. Chairman Gowdy is a very talented lawyer, and I believe he and I can work together to investigate this and make reforms to prevent it from happening again.”

Gowdy said there were Trump-related matters that he did see falling within the Oversight panel’s purview — procedures for issuance of security clearances, for instance, and the constitutional prohibition on accepting “emoluments” from foreign benefactors.

But Gowdy said, for instance, he was not interested in seeking memos written by former FBI director James B. Comey detailing his interactions with Trump before he was fired. Chaffetz had requested the memos, but the FBI declined to provide them, citing Mueller’s probe.

“Judiciary, for sure, would be, I think, the proper committee to provide oversight over the Department of Justice and the FBI,” he said.

A former state and federal prosecutor who also holds seats on the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, Gowdy said he wished to “respect jurisdictional integrity” as chairman and keep his panel focused on matters squarely reserved to it under House rules — such as the coming 2020 Census and the D.C. government.

But the panel also possesses broad “permissive” jurisdiction to probe virtually any matter involving the executive branch of government. Gowdy said he would not hesitate to investigate the Trump administration — when warranted.

“The legislative branch should do what it’s supposed to do, and it should not be usurped and it also should not abdicate its responsibilities,” he said. “The executive branch under President Obama was resistant of that, and we had to get to court to get some of that, and I expect the executive branch under President Trump to be resistant, so that’s just a natural tension.”

While the Oversight panel is known for its pageantry — and grandstanding — at its open hearings, Gowdy said his preference was to use hearings to present findings gathered after the panel does its investigations.

“If I were to devise an inefficient way to gather facts, I don’t know that I could devise anything better than five-minute increments alternating between [Republicans and Democrats],” he said.

Democrats are pressing Gowdy to use his powers more aggressively, much as his predecessors used their power to investigate alleged Obama administration abuses in the Justice Department, Internal Revenue Service and elsewhere.

On Wednesday, Oversight Committee Democrats asked White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for documents concerning the decision to allow Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, to maintain security clearances following allegations that they failed to disclose foreign contacts during the initial application process.

No Republicans joined the letter, and Gowdy said Friday that he did not see the matter as being a matter for the committee.

“We do have a role in the process, and we can certainly weigh in on whether it needs to be tightened up,” he said. “But the specifics of individuals who are alleged to have committed criminal acts in the application of security clearances — we don’t investigate crime.”

With regard to the emoluments question, Gowdy said he was primarily interested in plumbing the legal implications of the constitutional clause, which maintains that federal officials must not “accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

“The first challenge to me is understanding the parameters, how has it historically been applied, and then from that, you can determine whether or not you think there’s been a breach,” he said.

Gowdy suggested he would like to see Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a constitutional law professor, and a Republican counterpart on the committee explore the question.

Raskin said Friday that he would be glad to look at the matter but did not want that to substitute for rigorous oversight of Trump’s foreign business entanglements.

“We need to do both,” he said. “Personally, I don’t think that the legal question is that complex.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/2 ... wdy-239904

Gowdy: Oversight panel won't pursue Russia, obstruction probes
His approach differs sharply from that of outgoing Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who is resigning at the end of June
By RACHAEL BADE 06/23/2017 01:14 PM EDT Updated 06/23/2017 02:40 PM EDT
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Newly-elected House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy does not plan to investigate Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election or questions of whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.

The South Carolina Republican told a gathering of reporters Friday that he instead wants to return the Oversight panel to its original “compulsory” jurisdiction, including overseeing more mundane issues like government procurement and the Census.

And while Oversight will likely pursue some investigations eventually, Gowdy was adamant that he does not want to infringe on the work of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Gowdy also argued that the Russia scandal and questions of obstruction fall more in the jurisdiction of other committees — including the the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, where he helps lead the investigation of Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election.

“No. 1: It’s in the jurisdiction of Bob Mueller. And secondarily, I would think Judiciary has jurisdiction over the Department of Justice and the FBI,” he said. “To the extent that any of those memos are classified, that would be [Intelligence]. And for those that think a third committee ought to look at it, Oversight would have secondary permissive jurisdiction but it would be secondary.”

What investigations Gowdy does pursue will likely be carried out behind closed doors with a hearing at the end of the probe to discuss findings — a break from Oversight’s previous use of hearings as fact-finding exercises.

“If I would devise an inefficient way to gather facts, I don’t know that I could devise anything better than five-minute increments alternating between Republicans and Democrats,” said Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor. “That is not conducive to gathering facts.”

In short: Gone are the days of high-profile Oversight hearings lambasting executive officials caught up in scandals. Reporters, lawmakers and the public have grown accustomed to aggressive Oversight chairmen pursuing public probes, including investigations on the IRS’s tea-party targeting or the “Fast and Furious” gunwalking controversy.

Gowdy is no stranger to explosive public hearings, having led the House Select Committee on Benghazi. But he argues those previous Oversight investigations were not the committee’s main duties under House rules.

Rather, to kick off his tenure, Gowdy plans to hold hearings on criminal justice reform and the decennial Census, which is coming up.

He’s also promising a light-handed approach to the District of Columbia, which falls into his panel’s jurisdiction. When Gowdy was previously subcommittee chairman for D.C. affairs, he said he “tried really hard not to meddle” with local issues and is good friends with Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). He added of course he is “going to do things that she does not like,” but he expects to stick with his past approach.

On Russia, Gowdy argued that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte has more jurisdiction over the obstruction question. And he said he’ll continue his work helping probe the matter as one of the lawmakers leading the Intelligence investigation.

He said he doesn’t want to undermine Mueller’s work and has explicitly promised him not to do so: “I told Bob Mueller Tuesday that I would never do anything wittingly or unwittingly that veered over into his lane, and his lane is broad and undetermined at this point.”

Gowdy’s approach differs sharply from that of outgoing Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who is resigning at the end of June to pursue a career in television. Chaffetz asked for Comey’s memos detailing Trump’s alleged request to drop the FBI investigation of Michael Flynn, his ex-national security adviser. He even called a hearing with Comey, though that was cancelled.

Gowdy also seemed to downplay his panel’s role in looking into whether Trump went amiss of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, which prohibits presidents from taking money from foreign governments. He said the panel would look into the matter, but he also said it’s a legal question first and probably falls into Judiciary’s jurisdiction.

“It is constitutional so therefore Judiciary leaps to mind first, but there are also ethics issues, and the office of government ethics is squarely within our lanes,” he said. “So the first challenge to me is understanding the parameters, how it’s historically been applied and then from that you can determine whether there’s been a breach.”

Gowdy’s committee may pursue some matters related to the Russia-Comey scandals. The committee, he said, could examine questions about who should or shouldn’t get security clearances, one of many questions that has arisen recently. That, Gowdy said, does fall into the panel’s jurisdiction.

But even on that matter, it would be a light tough. Case in point: His Democratic counterpart on the panel, Elijah Cummings (R-Md.), recently wrote to the administration asking why it had not revoked the security clearances of Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who failed to disclose his interactions with Russian officials on his security clearance application.

Gowdy, however, said not to look to him to pursue Kushner since it could be a criminal issue.

“Allegations of criminal or quasi-criminal activity is squarely within Mueller’s jurisdiction,” Gowdy said. “So the process by which security clearances are granted, if that needs to be tightened, amended, changed, I’m all for it. The revocation of previously existing security clearances… we don’t investigate crime.”

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/artic ... 34279.html

Gowdy Will Defer to Mueller, Intel Panel on Russia Probes
By James Arkin
RCP Staff
June 23, 2017
Rep. Trey Gowdy, the newly minted chairman of the House oversight committee, said he will likely not probe directly Russia’s interference in the 2016 election or the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, hoping to avoid conflicting with investigations conducted by the Department of Justice special counsel or other congressional committees.

Gowdy became chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee last week, replacing Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who plans to retire from Congress at the end of this month. Gowdy said Friday that he would cede priority of potentially criminal matters to Special Counsel Bob Mueller, leave matters pertaining to Russia’s election interference to the Intelligence Committee, and leave any oversight of the Department of Justice or FBI to the Judiciary Committee.

The South Carolina lawmaker said he had likely interviewed Comey more than any other member of Congress because of his roles on both the intelligence and judiciary committees, but had done so only once in his capacity as a member of the oversight panel.

Though Chaffetz had called on Comey to testify before his committee and requested copies of his memos related to President Trump, Gowdy said the panel wasn’t the appropriate place for those matters.

“I told Bob Mueller Tuesday that I would never do anything wittingly, or unwittingly, that veered over into his lane. And his lane is broad and it is undetermined at this point,” Gowdy told a group of reporters Friday. The meeting with Mueller fell under Gowdy’s duties in the intelligence committee investigation, and was not related to his work on oversight.

That doesn’t mean that he won’t use the latter gavel to probe issues related to the Russia investigations. For example, Gowdy suggested that his committee could look into processes for issuing and revoking security clearances, and whether changes are needed.

But Democrats on the committee sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus earlier this week requesting information about the security clearances of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Gowdy said those matters are best left to the special counsel.

“Allegations of criminal or quasi-criminal activity is squarely within Mueller’s jurisdiction,” he said.

In the session with reporters, Gowdy laid out some of his vision for the oversight committee under his leadership. He said he preferred conducting investigations in private first, and using public hearings to highlight and present facts rather than as a “fact-gathering exercise.” He also emphasized having a good working relationship with the panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings. The two were in similar positions as the chairman and ranking member on the select committee investigating the Benghazi attacks in the previous Congress.

Gowdy said he’s talked to Cummings a dozen times since taking over from Chaffetz -- Cummings is currently recovering from a heart surgery, and Gowdy has kept him apprised of his thinking on committee action. He said the committee will hold a hearing on criminal justice reform next week -- an issue of deep concern for Cummings -- and likely will hold another hearing later this year after Cummings returns.

No doubt the Democrats are going to cry to high heaven about Gowdy "abandoning" the probe, but that's not what's happening here. Basically Gowdy is taking the Oversight committee into incognito mode while Mueller cranks along with the Russia investigation, hoping to minimise the press leaks. They're going to lay low for a while, but Gowdy has stated that he think's they'll have a larger role at the back end, and this fits with what's he's been saying about the witness testimony that's going to drag on until the fall. Since pretty much anything from this point on is going to be classified anyway, deciding to roll back on the public theatre is a brave choice, since this is one of Gowdy's major sources of support amongst barbaric Republican blowhards, but I think again, speaks to his commitment to get the job done right.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/201 ... red-at-th/

By Sally Persons - The Washington Times - Thursday, June 22, 2017
Rep. Trey Gowdy said Thursday that President Trump asking to be cleared at the beginning of an investigation isn’t appropriate.
“At the end of an investigation if someone has done nothing wrong, it’s not inappropriate to ask the district attorney or someone else to say, hey since you had me under cloud, do you mind telling people I’m not under a cloud anymore? That’s probably not appropriate to do on the front-end of an investigation because I don’t think anyone would be able to answer that question fully,” Mr. Gowdy told CNN.
The South Carolina Republican said he promised special counsel Robert Mueller that he would not interfere with the investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia. Rep. Elijah Cummings, however, sent a letter to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Wednesday asking why senior adviser Jared Kushner still had security clearance. Mr. Kushner failed to disclose numerous meetings with Russian officials.
“I promised Bob Mueller Tuesday night that I would not do anything wittingly or unwittingly that interfered with his probe. That used to be what I do for a living. I’m very sensitive to staying out of his lane. If Elijah wants to make accusations of a crime, that’s up to him, but I’m going to let Bob Mueller figure it out,” Mr. Gowdy said.

Additional material: this is Gowdy's old twitter, which has some interesting material about his career from 2009-2012


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... ment-fight

https://www.businessinsider.com/trey-go ... ry-2019-10

https://www.axios.com/trey-gowdy-trump- ... bd649.html

Look Who's Back wrote:President Trump has asked former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy to assist him with legal advice from outside the White House and Gowdy has agreed, though details are yet to be finalized, according to people familiar with the situation.

Where it stands: As the president faces an impeachment inquiry, Gowdy can offer Trump another opinion on where legal theory meets political reality, a person familiar told Axios' Margaret Talev, adding that his Benghazi experience is seen as an asset. Gowdy is expected to advise the White House behind the scenes and appear on TV to advocate on behalf of the president.

The state of play: Now that Trump faces an official impeachment inquiry, the White House has formalized its strategy to ignore lawmakers' demands until Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds a full House vote formally approving an impeachment inquiry.

For nearly a month, the White House has refused to comply with House investigations into whether Trump jeopardized national security by allegedly pressing Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.
Subpoenas: The White House, EU ambassador Gordon Sondland — named in the whistleblower report — the Defense Department, the White House Office of Management and Budget, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have all been subpoenaed since Pelosi announced an impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24.

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