Politics

Gowdy Mocks Schiff, Cummings for Their Sudden ‘Embrace of Transparency’

South Carolina Republican notes a newfound craving for accountability — now that Dems have the House majority

Image Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images & Shutterstock

Retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) mocked Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for their “newfound embrace of transparency” that magically appeared after the Democrats won the House majority on Election Day and earned the right to chair key investigative committees come January.

Gowdy (pictured above center) is the current chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, but Cummings (above left), the committee’s ranking Democrat, is expected to replace him in January following Gowdy’s retirement.

Schiff (above right), as current ranking Democrat on the committee, is expected to take the reins of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from its current chair, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

After cementing their House majority, Democrats have made it quite clear that a flood of investigations and subpoenas are coming for President Donald Trump, his finances, his family business, and his administration.

“Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy of Fox News asked Gowdy on Monday what he thought of Cummings’ interview Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” In that interview, Cummings insisted he would do “anything and everything” as chair to release special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation findings to the public.

“I would do anything and everything in my power to have the findings presented … not only to the Congress but to the people of the United States. I think it’s very important,” Cummings said.

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“In this last election, what the public has said is they want accountability and they want transparency. And they have paid for an investigation by one of our greatest public servants, Mr. Mueller.”

Mueller reportedly is in the final days of his long-lasting probe into allegations of collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russia.

Gowdy scoffed at Cummings’ desire for “transparency” while also scolding Schiff for his plans.

“Well, I don’t know what he means by ‘everything.’ Does that mean divulge classified information? Does it mean divulge grand jury material? I hope not,” Gowdy said.

“I also find it ironic. I spent two years battling with Elijah, who wanted to keep lots of things secret, and I spent two years battling with Adam Schiff, who didn’t want anyone to know about the dossier or Fusion GPS or the FISA process,” Gowdy added.

“So if they have this newfound embrace of transparency, that’s good, but it would be newfound,” he also said.

Gowdy referred to Schiff’s resistance against the Nunes investigations into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI prior to and during the probes into Trump’s campaign.

In particular, Fusion GPS used former British spy Christopher Steele to compile the negative information in what became known as the Steele dossier — which the FBI then used to obtain FISA warrants to spy on former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

And Schiff appeared to be displeased with Nunes’ efforts to find the truth.

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Gowdy also mocked former FBI Director James Comey after the latter responded on Twitter to House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) request for him and for former Attorney General Loretta Lynch to appear before the committee for a closed-door deposition.

“House Republicans can ask me anything they want but I want the American people to watch, so let’s have a public hearing. Truth is best served by transparency. Let me know when is convenient,” Comey tweeted Friday.

Gowdy replied, “Jim Comey really said ‘truth is best served by transparency’?”

“Has the FBI ever conducted an interview in public, and has the FBI ever conducted an interview where you are limited to five minutes, which is what happens in congressional hearings?” Gowdy asked.

“The last time I saw Jim Comey in a public congressional hearing, almost 100 times he said, ‘I can’t answer in this setting.’ So why in the world would he want to go back to a setting where he knows he can’t answer all the questions?” Gowdy added.

“I got his tweet. He wants to do it in public. He wants to sell more books. He wants to be more famous. But Congress is going to decide how we can best advance the fact-finding and the truth, and that is not in five-minute increments and it is not in a setting where he can answer, ‘I can’t answer in this setting,’ like he’s done almost 100 times,” said Gowdy.

He also threw shade at some of his committee colleagues, calling televised hearings “a carnival freak show atmosphere, where my colleagues, some of whom can’t question their way out of a one-story parking garage. I mean, I’ve got colleagues that just aren’t good at asking questions.”

Check out the video of Gowdy’s interview below:

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