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Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz took a stunning shot Friday evening not at Democrats but rather at two of his colleagues — or former colleagues, that is.
Minutes after former House Oversight Committee chair Trey Gowdy spoke with Fox News host Sean Hannity about the just-unearthed questions he’d asked of Obama-era officials during the committee’s own Russian collusion investigation in late 2017 and early 2018, Gaetz showed up with some unexpected pushback.
“I’m glad you went through Trey Gowdy’s exquisite questions in 2017 to these corrupt officials,” he said almost sarcastically on FNC’s “Hannity.”
“I guess my question would be, why was it then in late May of 2018 that Trey Gowdy went on Martha MacCallum’s show and said that the FBI did exactly what all of our fellow Americans would have wanted them to do, and that it had nothing to do with Donald Trump?”
And yes, that really happened:
Given all we’ve learned, this is hard to understand. pic.twitter.com/dcwSRyNC8W
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) May 9, 2020
Those remarks were eagerly broadcast by the media at the time as a “rebuke” of the president’s since-confirmed “Spygate” allegations.
“Both of those things [Gowdy said to MacCallum] have now been proven to be not true, and it seems that Gowdy’s brilliant lawyering back in 2017 that we’re only able to see now proves those statements untrue,” Gaetz continued.
Transcripts from the House Oversight Committee’s Russian collusion investigation were finally released this week by current committee chair Adam Schiff, a Democrat, after pressure was applied by acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.
These transcripts show Gowdy hammering Obama-era officials such as Andrew McCabe, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Ben Rhodes and Sally Yates with tough questions about their Russian collusion delusion investigation.
More tellingly, they show these same officials replying with answers that Gowdy himself admitted earlier Friday evening “ought to scare the hell out of you.”
Yet when questioned about this same matter in May of 2018, Gowdy turned around and defended these Obama-era officials. And years later, not a single one of these figures has been held accountable.
“The number one question I get asked from Americans is why no one is gone to jail and been held accountable,” Gaetz noted, adding that part of the reason why is because the GOP had failed at its duties when it controlled the House.
“Unfortunately, when [Devin] Nunes, [Mark] Meadows, [Jim] Jordan and I wanted subpoena power, it was [then-House Speaker] Paul Ryan and [Oversight Committee chair] Trey Gowdy who wouldn’t give us that power,” he said.
“Democrats sent out hundreds of subpoenas when we had control and could have run this to ground in 2017. We didn’t send out a single subpoena. Not one. And that’s a failure of our Republican leadership.”
Listen (disable your adblocker if the video doesn’t appear):
As Gaetz finished talking, host Sean Hannity blurted out, “They made a mistake.”
Was it just a mistake, i.e., an error in judgment?
Replying to Gaetz’s points, some of his Twitter followers have claimed they’ve been distrustful of Gowdy since day one.
Gowdy had me fooled for a while too, until
Gowdy 2nd’d Boehner’s nomination as Speaker
Gowdy nominated Ryan for Speaker.
Gowdy sided with DemWits on Amnesty & DACA
Gowdy said: “When children wander into neighborhood yards, we don’t call that trespassing.”
Gowdy endorsed Rubio
— Apple Pie Patriot (@Apple_Pie_USA) May 9, 2020
he lost me when he wouldn’t take a position in the admin and fight for the citizens & became a tv talking head instead
— ThatsNotMe..”SHUT UP .. OBEY ” (@ThatsNo55136486) May 9, 2020
Paul Ryan and Trey Gowdy were given the opportunity to resign in order to save their reputation. I believe they were aligned with those looking to oust Trump and his administration. That’s too bad. I want to like Gowdy, but I think he’s compromised.
— Birks31 I’m just watching the show. (@birks31) May 9, 2020
He was in on it too. He and Lindsey have been snakes in the grass this entire time.
— realstm34 (@realstm34) May 9, 2020
But others pushed back, writing in tweets that Gowdy has always been a genuinely good guy — a goody-two-shoes, if you will — who may have inadvertently allowed his naive optimism to blind him to corruption around him.
In fact, one supporter noted that Gowdy eventually left Congress at the start of 2019 specifically because “of all the corruption” he wound up uncovering.
This is not current. This is before he had information that has came out since then. Trey Gowdy is good. He left politics behind because of all the corruption and it turned his stomache. He isnt the first person to be wrong about something or someone.
— Stacy Herring (@Stacysangel) May 9, 2020
But now that Gowdy is out of government and the truth is slowly being unveiled, it appears he’s become much more comfortable with bashing those whom he once defended.
Speaking with Hannity shortly before Gaetz came on the show, he was particularly critical of those Obama-era officials who’d chosen to rely on the infamous Steele dossier as a legitimate piece of evidence, when they knew full well that it was pure garbage.
“Michael Cohen — who hates the president — he said the dossier is a bunch of lies,” Gowdy noted. “This is somebody who hates Trump and he said it is a bunch of lies. Glenn Simpson bought and paid for it and he couldn’t verify it.”
“I cannot believe the United States government relied on that piece of work,” said Gowdy, referring to the fact the dossier was used as an exhibit in obtaining a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to surveil former Trump campaign staffer Carter Page.”
Listen to his full statements below:
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