Trey Gowdy is the brand new Chairman of the House Oversight Committee. And he announced on Friday that his committee will no longer participate in the Russia investigation.
The House Oversight Committee had begun investigating Russia’s interference in our election last year, including possible collusion and obstruction of justice. But that was when Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) led the committee.
Following Chaffetz’s recent departure from Congress, Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was appointed the new Chair. And now Gowdy says that the House Oversight Committee will no longer pursue any part of the Russia probe.
Gowdy told reporters on Friday that any possible criminal activities related to the Russia investigation will now be handled by Bob Mueller and the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.
“I told Bob Mueller Tuesday that I would never do anything wittingly or unwittingly that veered over into his lane. His lane is broad and is undetermined at this point.”
Before Chaffetz left, he urged former FBI Director James Comey to come testify before the Oversight panel and he demanded that Comey turn over his memos regarding Trump and possible obstruction of justice.
But on Friday Gowdy explained,
“[The memos] are in the jurisdiction of Bob Mueller, first and foremost. Secondarily Judiciary [Committee], because it has jurisdiction over the Department of Justice and the FBI. To the extent that any of those memos are classified, that would be HPSCI (House Intelligence Committee).”
One thing that Gowdy does want to investigate is the security-clearance process.
The Hill reports,
“Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the Oversight panel, wrote a letter to White House officials this week raising concerns about whether Flynn and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had deliberately withheld or lied about information in their security clearance application.”
Gowdy agreed to pursue this area but he insisted that he wouldn’t look into any criminal wrongdoing, saying,
“Allegations of criminal or quasi-criminal activity is squarely within Mueller’s jurisdiction. The process by which security clearances are granted needs to be tightened, amended, changed, I’m all for it. We don’t investigate crime. That’s been my position for the seven years that I’ve been here.”
Gowdy also said that the Oversight Committee will no longer investigate Trump’s violations of the Emoluments Clause.
It’s worth noting that Trey Gowdy was the leading bulldog investigating and going after Hillary Clinton because of the Benghazi attack. He was extremely aggressive in his endless Hillary probes. But now he’s not interested at all in investigating a major attack on our Democracy by a hostile foreign nation.
Apparently Gowdy only gives a damn if he can nail Democrats. If there was criminal activity committed by his own team then he’s just fine pushing off any investigation to someone else. I’d like to say I’m shocked. But at this point what else would we expect from these Republican hacks?