Rep. Trey Gowdy, the South Carolina Republican who’s earned the sobriquet “The Bulldog,” started his career as a federal prosecutor. He’s carried that tenacity into Congress — particularly in his role on the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
Now, he’s taking that spirit to the media. In an appearance on Fox News on Monday, Gowdy criticized the media’s handling of President Donald Trump’s claims that officials in the Obama administration ordered surveillance on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Gowdy, a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence, said that Congress could carry out an investigation of wiretapping claims better than the media can.
“I think Congress is much better equipped to do investigations than journalists are,” Gowdy told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer. “We can’t rely on anonymous sources. We can’t rely on leaked information, classified information which in and of itself is a crime.
“So with all due respect to the reporters, I can’t cross-examine anonymous sources. You can’t even directly examine them. It’s a lot easier to write a news piece than it is to conduct an investigation,” he continued.
“What Congress needs is access to the witnesses, access to the documents, and to understand that we don’t run parallel criminal investigations. We have a job to do, but it is not to investigate crime.”
When asked if he had seen evidence that the Obama administration had done surveillance against the current president during the campaign, Gowdy said no. He added that he had seen no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, adding that “reports to the contrary have been described as demonstrably false to me by people who would know.”
While evidence of wiretapping hasn’t come forward yet, it’s no secret that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant against someone involved with the Trump organization over a computer link to a Russian bank. The link — described with typical objectivity by The New York Times as a “mysterious back channel” — turned out to be nothing, at least as far as federal officials were concerned.
Gowdy is right. With the politicization of Trump’s links to Russia — which seem tenuous and media-generated at best — the wiretapping claims are not the sort of thing to be tried in the media. If the Democrats want to pursue this, pursue it in Congress.
H/T The Daily Caller
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