Trey Gowdy caused a commotion this week when he did a series of interviews discussing the growing spygate scandal.
The interviews did not go as anyone expected.
In fact, Gowdy ended up making the biggest mistake of his life.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray held a briefing at the White House attended by Gowdy and members of both parties.
Rosenstein and Wray informed members of Congress about information concerning an FBI spy who tried to infiltrate the Trump campaign.
Gowdy – and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes – had been pressing the FBI to turn over documents surrounding the spy’s activities.
Rosenstein and Wray fought the committee tooth-and-nail to continue the cover up and only yielded when President Trump stepped in.
But just because Rosenstein and Wray agreed to cooperate does not mean they were cooperative.
Reports quickly surfaced that Rosenstein and Wray would not make any of the documents Nunes and Gowdy requested available.
Sources tell me Gowdy and Nunes did not receive the documents they requested during the noon meeting at DOJ, despite the pleas for openness from Kelly and Flood at the start of the briefing
— Sarah Westwood (@sarahcwestwood) May 24, 2018
In addition,Tthe Federalist website reached out to Gowdy’s office for comment about no documents being provided during the briefing. The Federalist reported that,
“When asked by The Federalist whether Gowdy had seen all the documents Congress requested, a spokeswoman for Gowdy repeatedly declined to say what, if any, subpoenaed records Gowdy had reviewed during the roughly hour-long briefing.”
These new facts call into question Gowdy’s post-briefing interviews.
Journalists were delirious with joy over the fact that Gowdy stated the FBI acted appropriately in sending a spy to snoop around the Trump campaign based on what he was told.
But Gowdy’s comments were not based on information gleaned from pouring through documents.
Gowdy staked his claim based on the word of Rosenstein and Wray.
And that is dangerous.
The FBI and the DOJ have a long history of misleading reporters and Congress during the Russia investigation.
For instance, in April 2017, leakers fed the New York Times a story that the investigation began after Carter Page took a trip to Moscow in 2016.
But that story came from the Christopher Steele dossier.
When it was learned that the dossier was fake news paid for by the Clintons, the origin story shifted.
Fast forward to December 2017 and the Times reported that the investigation began in July 2016 after the Australians relayed the contents of a springtime conversation between their former diplomat and Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos.
In that encounter – which the Times described as “boozy” – it was alleged that Papadopoulos claimed the Russians offered him dirt on Hillary Clinton in the form of emails.
Now this story is falling apart.
Alexander Downer – the Australian diplomat who met with Papadopoulos – gave an April interview where he stated Papadopoulos wasn’t drunk and that he never said the Russians had dirt or Clinton emails.
For Gowdy to speak on this matter without having access to the documents he sought – basing his claims solely on the “good word” of officials who have every incentive to shade the truth – is political malpractice.
And it is the biggest mistake of Gowdy’s life.