Politics & Policy

Gowdy Admits He was Wrong to Trust ‘the Word of the FBI and the DOJ’ During Russiagate

Trey Gowdy (R-SC) questions Secret Service Director on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., September 30, 2014. (Kevin Lamarque /Reuters)

Former congressman Trey Gowdy admitted during a Monday appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight that he had been wrong in “relying on the word of the FBI and the DOJ” during hearings on the Trump-Russia probe, saying he realized his mistake after reviewing the documents related to the opening of the investigation.

Carlson played Gowdy a clip of the former South Carolina Republican saying in May 2018 that after being briefed, he was “more convinced the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump.”

When Carlson then asked “do you still feel that way?” Gowdy replied “oh gosh, no.”

“I made a lot of mistakes in life — relying on briefings, and not insisting on the documents,” Gowdy explained, saying he changed his mind “about three weeks” after his public comments.

“I went to the Department of Justice. I sat there for four hours. That’s when I saw that Peter Strzok actually initiated and approved Crossfire Hurricane. That’s when I saw the exculpatory information on George Papadopoulos. That’s when I saw for the very first time that it was the Trump campaign mentioned in that predicate document,” Gowdy elaborated, adding that the officials called to testify had been “telling us all along, ‘Trump’s not the target, the campaign’s not the target.”

“So yes, my mistake was relying on the word of the FBI and the DOJ and not insisting on the documents. Luckily it took me three weeks to correct that mistake,” Gowdy stated.

Last week, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) released the 53 probe’s transcripts after House Republicans accused him of “blocking their release.” The documents showed that former Obama administration officials repeatedly denied having evidence of collusion between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.

“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting [or] conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election,” said former director of national intelligence James Clapper.

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