(National Sentinel) Investigate the Investigators: Retiring Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., told Fox News‘ Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that it is possible there will be a second special counsel appointed to investigate alleged misconduct within the Department of Justice during the Obama administration.
Congressional Republicans have been agitating for a second special counsel with prosecutorial authority to probe potential abuses of power within the DoJ and FBI in relation to FISA court warrants obtained to spy on the campaign of President Donald J. Trump.
“You know, Maria, this Democrat memo makes me smile,” Gowdy said, in reference to a memo released by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee in response to the GOP-drafted “FISA memo” detailing serial abuses of the FISA court during the Obama administration.
“If it were up to [Intelligence Committee ranking member] Adam Schiff, if it were up to him it would have been a haiku, and not a memo because he did everything he could to keep us from finding out any of the information that was in either one of those memos,” Gowdy added.
“So Congress has proven itself incapable of investigating this FISA abuse. DoJ should not be looking into it. We need an independent arbiter that’s either the inspector general or special counsel,” he said.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that he has tasked DoJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz with looking into alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Republicans contend that ranking officials in the FBI and Justice Department worked to prevent Donald J. Trump from becoming president and to undermine him after he defeated Hillary Clinton in November 2016.
That decision was criticized by Trump, who said the IG’s investigation would take too long and would not result in any legal actions if warranted because the IG has no prosecutorial authority. Like many Republicans, Trump has also said a special counsel is needed.
“Maria, over the weekend, I’d counted up almost two dozen witnesses that the inspector general would not have access to, were he alone conducting this investigation, so I think we’re trending perhaps towards another special counsel because of this unique fact pattern and the fact that there are witnesses outside the reach of the inspector general,” Gowdy said.
Bartiromo responded, “So we should have then you believe another special counsel to investigate these matters? How does one investigate itself frankly?”
“Well you don’t,” said Gowdy. “I wish that I had been able to grade my own papers in college and law school, but I was not able to. I would have done better first of all, but — we don’t put family members on the jury. We don’t put friends on the jury.”
“You need an independent arbiter, and the Department of Justice cannot investigate itself,” Gowdy continued. “Horowitz can — Horowitz is a fair guy, but when there are two dozen witnesses that have left the department or worked for another agency, someone else has to do it and I am reluctant to call for special counsel, but I think it may be unavoidable in this fact pattern.”
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