Rep. Trey Gowdy stopped short of claiming there was collusion between the Department of Justice and the Clintons.
“History will be much kinder to Jim Comey in that July press conference than the Democrats were,” the South Carolina Republican told Fox News host Martha MacCallum on “The Story” Tuesday.
On July 5, former FBI Director James Comey announced that although Hillary Clinton was “extremely careless” in the manner in which she handled her official State Department emails, he would not recommend an indictment.
“I think he had access to information that, because he is a stand-up guy he’s not gonna disseminate classified information, though God knows everybody else is,” he said. “So all your viewers see is this meeting on the tarmac.”
Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton met at an Arizona airport just prior to Comey’s press briefing.
“Jim Comey had access to additional information that I am convinced left him with no other choice but to make the decision he made in July,” Gowdy said.
Gowdy stopped short of saying Comey was pressured into clearing Clinton at that July news briefing.
“He wanted to safeguard the integrity of the investigation, the integrity of the process, and I probably ought to just leave it right there,” Gowdy said.
“I know what it was and I have been a critic of James Comey in the past. But he made the only decision he could have made with respect to appropriating that decision away from the Department of Justice and making the decision himself,” he continued.
MacCallum replied that there were connections between the Clintons and the Department of Justice, under which the FBI serves, and those connections may have influenced Comey.
“I only take away from that that you are suggesting that there were more entanglements between the Clintons and perhaps the Justice Department than everyone understands,” McCallum posited.
“You’re very perceptive,” Gowdy affirmed.
Clip via Fox News Channel
However, fundamental fairness demanded that Gowdy not jump to any conclusions at this point on President Trump allegedly pressuring Comey into dropping an investigation into his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn.
MacCallum asked Gowdy about a New York Times story alleging that Comey left behind a memo claiming that Trump asked about dropping an investigation into Flynn.
“What’s your reaction to this story in the Times?” McCallum asked the congressman.
“Obviously I want to see the memo,” Gowdy answered. “Obviously I want to talk to Director Comey to determine how contemporaneous his recording of the conversation was.”
“But also, importantly, not just what was said, but what did Director Comey hear? How did he take it?” Gowdy asked. “And with all due respect to the New York Times, that can only be done by looking at the memo and talking to Director Comey.”
He said that the Rule of Completeness requires that an entire document be introduced — not just part of one. And that’s just one reason newspaper reports can’t be introduced as evidence at trial.
“We’re a long ways from a conviction, that we simply have a headline in the New York Times,” he said.
House colleague Rep. Jason Chaffetz wants to see more evidence also, and said he has his subpoena pen ready in order to obtain it.
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