Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC 4th District), who’s also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, went on Fox News Sunday in January to express his unequivocal support for special counsel Robert Mueller.
“I told my Republican colleagues to leave him the hell alone, and that’s still my advice,” said Gowdy. While support of Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 election has always been a highly partisan issue, Gowdy didn’t seem to have any hesitation to openly express support.
In addition to his “100 percent” support of Robert Mueller, Trey Gowdy shed more light into the now-notorious intelligence memo that’s striking fear into the hearts of the Republicans, who say the memo contains misconduct on the behalf of senior FBI officials investigating Trump.
In stark contrast to Gowdy, Republican Representative Matt Gaetz (FL- 1st District) said he thinks Mueller should resign or be fired. Donald Trump himself has called this investigation a “witch hunt” while Fox News has used tools like Sean Hannity to further the White House’s distraction tactics by shifting the focus to Hillary Clinton or, failing that, attempting to discredit the entire FBI.
Gowdy said to Fox News of the memo in question:
“This memo is nothing but the distilling, a reducing of thousands of documents provided to us by the Justice Department and the bureau. There’s nothing in this memo that the department isn’t already aware of.”
Last week, Trey Gowdy was pretty much the sole Republican to openly refute that the Nunes memo exonerated Trump’s campaign staff, transition team, administration, etc. That, of course was the entire point of the Nunes memo — to undermine Mueller’s investigation by inferring that the FISA warranted first obtained to surveil Carter Page relied solely on the Steele dossier while paradoxically implying that the dossier was not disclosed. The latter was immediately debunked, making the former irrelevant.
Gowdy told Fox News on Tuesday night, regarding the Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo:
“I think the Democrats are politically smart enough to put things in the memo that require either the [F.B.I.] or the Department of Justice to say it needs to be redacted. Unfortunately, we are in an environment where you would include material that you know has to be redacted and you know responsible people are going to redact it just so that question will be asked.”
He isn’t wrong, but this reads as being more about the fact that the Democrats, led by Adam Schiff, are played the Nunes Memo Game better than the Republicans did.
This tweet, though sent from Trump’s own account, offers a checkmate of sorts:
The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency. Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 10, 2018
Making this tweet, from the day before, all the more awkward:
“I expect the President to release the Democratic memo today. The one thing to keep in mind is, Republicans have been consistent fighting for transparency. Every Republican on the House Intelligence Committee voted to #ReleaseTheMemos.” pic.twitter.com/9bTeFCb3He
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) February 9, 2018
Trey Gowdy, who announced his retirement from politics just days ago, has enjoyed one of the more interesting denouements in modern politics. From Benghazi hearings… to Mueller defender… to guy who’s annoyed that his party can’t even effectively orchestrate cynical power plays anymore.