On Friday, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) visited the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report” to convey his thoughts on former FBI Director and political lightning rod James Comey. Throughout the segment, Gowdy unleashed some decisively skewering takes.
Host Bret Baier began with a question concerning the Thursday release of Comey’s memos — notations made after each interaction with the President during his tenure as head of the bureau — about which The New York Times wrote, “Mr. Comey depicts Mr. Trump as a man engrossed to the point of distraction with political rivalries and fears that bureaucrats and government officials, including in the F.B.I., were trying to undermine his legitimacy.” Baier posited:
“You have New York congressmen Jerry Nadler — ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, saying this: ‘The release of these memos…has accomplished little other than corroborating Mr. Comey’s previous testimony.’ Your response to that?”
Gowdy first emphasized the President’s stated desire to see unearthed any Russian collusion if among his associates, as well as the memos’ revelation that the Russia “cloud” Trump wanted lifted from his administration was in fact unsubstantiated sexual allegations rather than any notion of electoral impropriety. The congressman then suggested, referencing Comey’s current book tour in support of A Higher Loyalty, “I think we’ve all learned a little bit more about Jim Comey as he goes on his ‘morality tour’ over the next couple weeks.”
Regarding Comey’s sharing of memo content with Columbia law Professor Daniel Richman just days after being fired by Trump in May of 2017, Baier asked, “Do you think he broke the law by leaking those memos?” Gowdy replied with a mockery of Comey’s previous incendiary remarks:
“I have no way of knowing. And, unlike Jim Comey, I don’t compare people to mob bosses. I don’t say they’re unfit for office. I don’t say they ought to be impeached…I trust (Inspector General) Michael Horowitz. I think Michael Horowitz has done a fantastic job so far…Let’s let him figure out which memos were given to the law professor and whether or not they contained classified information.”
“But if they did,” Baier injected, “he would have broken the law.”
Gowdy continued, castigating Comey for his kid glove treatment of Hillary Clinton during the investigation of her national security-compromising email scandal:
“Not by the standard he set in the summer of 2016. God knows how hard it would be to win that case. Remember — he ignored the statute that said ‘grossly negligent.’ He now has a requirement — it has to be intentional, and you have to do it to harm the United States. So under the standard he set with Secretary Clinton, I don’t think Jesus could win that case.”
Well…that’s saying something.
Trey Gowdy makes no pretense about his respect — or lack thereof — for James Comey. When asked what strikes the Representative most about the former FBI head’s recent interviews, Gowdy answered with an excoriating characterization:
“Just the double standard…When he was upset with President Trump, he leaked memos to spur a special counsel; when he was upset with Loretta Lynch, nobody knew a word about it. Nobody knew that he didn’t have confidence in Loretta Lynch. We just knew that he appropriated a decision away from himself. When President Trump asked, ‘Go easy on Mike Flynn, he’s a good guy,’ all of a sudden, that’s an impeachable offense. When Barack Obama prejudges the outcome of the Hillary Clinton investigation or the IRS targeting scandal, somehow or another, that’s okay. So the duplicity, the relativism…Jim Comey said, ‘I don’t do sneaky things.’ Except memorialize private conversations. ‘I don’t leak.’ Except when I do leak. And ‘I don’t do weasel things.’ I think this whole book tour is a pretty weasely thing, quite frankly.”