House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy is not succumbing to the media’s scare tactics and false narratives.
The South Carolina congressman plans to turn his committee away from its investigation of “Russian meddling” in the 2016 election, as it’s been fruitless thus far.
Gowdy doesn’t plan on wasting time doing the work of the special counsel, headed up by Robert Mueller — so he’s going to keep moving forward. The former prosecutor humbly stated that he would prefer to have the Oversight Committee focus on some of the less headline grabbing, but still important issues such as overseeing the Census and National Archives.
USA Today reports:
“It’s probably a case-by-case basis,” Gowdy told a group of reporters on Capitol Hill Friday when asked if he would continue some of the outstanding inquiries former chair, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, is leaving behind, including a series of requests to the White House for documents linked to the Russia probe. Gowdy did say he would investigate things as they came up. Chaffetz announced his retirement in April and Republicans picked Gowdy to take over his spot as committee chairman.
Democrats on the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to White House chief of staff Reince Priebus earlier this week, requesting information about the security clearances for President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner, his adviser and son-in-law. Democrats want to know why Flynn and Kushner did not have their security clearance suspended in the wake of allegations they had previously unreported contacts with Russian officials.
Gowdy said such a request doesn’t fall under Oversight’s purview and that he has shared that view with the committee’s top Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.
“Allegations of criminal or quasi criminal activity are squarely in (Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s) jurisdiction,” Gowdy said. He added that his committee could look at the process by which security clearances are issued, but not specific individuals.
Mueller was selected to lead an investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election separate from the various congressional committees which are also looking into it. Gowdy is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and has a leading role in that committee’s investigation.
Gowdy also suggested that the House Judiciary Committee would have jurisdiction over some of the Russia investigation, but that committee has not been actively involved.
“I think the specifics of this letter are in Bob Mueller’s jurisdiction,” Gowdy said. “I told Bob Mueller Tuesday that I would never do anything wittingly or unwittingly that veered over into his lane and his lane is broad and it is undetermined at this point.” Later, Gowdy said that a major point of agreement between he and Cummings is they don’t want to impact Mueller’s investigation.
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