Ever since Florida congressman Matt Gaetz exposed on Hannity Trey Gowdy’s role in allowing the FBI witch-hunt against the Trump campaign, back in 2018; back when Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate; it was clear that Gowdy would at some point appear on television to respond.
On Friday, Gaetz tweeted the following: Why did Trey Gowdy go on TV in May 2018 and say the FBI did what our fellow Americans would have wanted them to do? And that it had nothing to do with @realDonaldTrump? When we wanted subpoena power, it was Paul Ryan and Gowdy who wouldn’t give it to us.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson was also on Friday, critical of Republicans for not doing enough to prevent the FBI witch-hunt of the Trump campaign; which has hitherto been severely damaging to the lives of men like General Michael Flynn, Paul Manifort and Roger Stone.
“And by the way” said Carlson “it’s not just Democrats you should blame for the corrosion of our public life. The vast majority of the Russian collusion investigation…occurred during the first two years of this administration. Who ran the government then? At the time Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress and every single committee by definition. They had the power to expose this hoax and to shut it down but they did not.”
So it was fitting Monday, that Trey Gowdy appeared on Carlson’s show to answer this looming question. And of course, Carlson asked it: “I think that this was from the very beginning, driven by the Obama Administration. But it was allowed to metastasise because the Republican controlled congress did not stop it. Why do you think that is?”
Gowdy’s response: “I thought Devin Nunes did a phenomenal job. This is what he said: we’re gonna find out what Russia did; with whom, if anyone they did it; how to make sure they don’t do it again in 2020; and then the issue of unmasking and leaks. So there were four pillars on what he wanted us to look at. It’s just nobody cared about three of them. The only thing they cared about, was the with whom, if anyone.”
“So we did what, sixty, seventy witness interviews.” Gowdy continued. “The senate did that much or more. Then we had Bob Mueller. So look, am I defensive of Devin? I am. Because he had an incredibly difficult 2017. He wrapped up his investigation a lot quicker than Bob Mueller did; and with a lot less help from the witnesses.”
Carlson then said to Gowdy: “You were briefed by the FBI in 2018; and shortly after that briefing came on this channel to describe your reaction to it.”
It was a direct reference to Gowdy’s 2018 insistence that the FBI investigations had nothing to do with Donald Trump.
“Do you still feel that way?” Carlson asked.
With a smile, Gowdy replied: “Oh gosh no! No that was…I’ve made a lot of mistakes in life. Relying on briefings and not insisting on the documents; it took me about three weeks. I went over to the Department of Justice. I sat there for four hours. That’s when I saw that Peter Strzok actually initiated and approved Crossfire Hurricane. That’s when I saw the exculpatory information on George Papadopoulos; that is when I saw for the very first time that it was the Trump campaign mentioned in that predicate document. They’d been telling us all along: Trump’s not the target. The campaign’s not the target. So, yes. My mistake was relying on the word of the FBI and the DOJ and not insisting on the documents. Luckily, it took me about three weeks to correct that mistake.”
Carlson of course, was ready for that response. He asked: “So that was in March. In July, which was of course many months later, you said of the investigation: it is not a witch-hunt. You said point blank, it’s not a witch-hunt. And people say this is not. But of course, it was a witch-hunt by definition. When did that dawn on you?”
Gowdy’s response: “Well, Tucker, if you think about the four points: number one; what did Russia do? I’m convinced Russia tried to interfere with the fundamentals of our democracy. So point number one that we were asked to look at: what did Russia do? Number 2, with whom, if anyone? I was down there for almost every witness interview and I’m the one that asked the question: and the answer was: no one with the Trump campaign did anything with Russia. Then we got to the unmasking and the leaks. So I don’t think asking, what did Russia do to our country in 2o16, or tried to do; I don’t think that was a witch-hunt.”
But that answer only refers to Gowdy’s belief that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections. And we’ll be covering this in a subsequent article. It does not however, explain why, even after realising that he made a mistake thinking the investigation had nothing to do with Trump; which according to Gowdy, took him three weeks; why he, months later as Carlson pointed out, refused to call that investigation a witch-hunt.
This was the most off-putting part of the interview. It felt like Gowdy was skating that question. Though it was good of him to address his inconsistencies on the issue and admit he made a mistake, there are still more questions about the Republicans in charge back then, than answers.