Trey Gowdy may not be joining President Donald Trump’s legal team as outside counsel for his impeachment inquiry amid concerns over rules limiting his post-Congressional activities.
For now, Gowdy is still expected join the team on January 4, Fox News reported. However, that could change.
Gowdy is the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee and the former chair of the House Benghazi Committee. Last week, Gowdy agreed to join the Trump team as outside counsel.
Before accepting the job, the South Carolina Republican had lunch with the president on Oct. 8. Gowdy’s hiring was immediately cheered both by Trump supporters and by White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
However, sources say Gowdy became concerned that his job might violate Congressional rules prohibiting former lawmakers from communicating with or appearing before their former colleagues for one year after leaving Congress.
The rule was enacted to prevent retired lawmakers from influencing their former colleagues or becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving Congress. He retired from Congress in January 2019, which means he would be in the clear in January 2020.
Trey Gowdy — a fierce former U.S. Attorney — was recently a Fox News contributor. Last week, he left that gig to avoid a conflict of interest with his potential new job with the president.
Part of his job as Trump’s outside counsel would require Gowdy to appear on cable news programs to discuss the impeachment inquiry. At this point, it’s unclear what Gowdy will do.
On Sunday, the New York Times claimed that Gowdy absolutely will not work as Trump’s outside counsel. However, given the New York Times’ history of reporting fake news, it’s unclear what the real story is.
Meanwhile, a recent Fox News poll claiming that the majority of Americans favor impeaching Trump has come under fire amid revelations that the poll oversampled Democrats.
An unbiased poll weighted for party affiliation would have concluded the majority of voters (55.1%) actually oppose impeachment, according to a New York Post analysis.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 13, 2019
Despite the fact that President Trump is preparing for an impeachment inquiry, keep in mind that the House of Representatives has not voted on it, so nothing official is happening.
Last week, the White House fired off a blistering letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, alerting her that the Trump administration will not comply with her subpoena requests in the Democrats’ “constitutionally invalid” impeachment inquiry.
In a Scorched-Earth, eight-page missive, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone smacked down the Democrat Party for pushing a “legally unsupported, constitutionally invalid” impeachment inquiry. Cipollone wrote:
“You seek to overturn the results of the 2016 election and deprive the American people of the President they have freely chosen.
Your highly partisan and unconstitutional effort threatens grave and lasting damage to our democratic institutions, to our system of free elections, and to the American people.”