Congressman Trey Gowdy has been making the talk show rounds for the past few days, going on air to dispute President Donald Trump’s repeated claim that a spy ‘infiltrated’ his 2016 campaign.
Over the past week, President Trump has tweeted and exclaimed at campaign-style rallies that “SPYGATE,” his buzzword describing information-gathering in his campaign “could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!”
The Washington Post Editorial Board took notice yesterday and penned an editorial praising Gowdy for stepping out from “his weakling Republican colleagues.” Gowdy, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee was reportedly briefed on information from an informant in the campaign last week. In interviews, Gowdy said that the FBI had an “obligation” to investigate leads, but that he’s never heard the word “spy” mentioned.
Gowdy on Fox News via the Post: “I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got.”
Pressed by the Fox News anchor on whether Special Investigator Robert Mueller’s investigation is too broad, Gowdy demurred, saying that the facts should come out.
Perhaps not surprisingly, it took a Republican with one foot out the door to muster “enough decency to admit the obvious,” as the Post put it. Gowdy is not running for re-election in the November midterms, a cycle that is historically bad for a first term president’s party colleagues in Congress.
Gowdy said he’s leaving Congress because, “I like jobs where facts matter.”
The Post concludes:
Republicans who have remained quiet as Mr. Trump has raged can tell themselves that public rebukes will not change the president’s behavior. But that logic is ultimately self-defeating. Without public pushback from GOP leaders, Republicans will fall in line behind their president, and Americans will be left with the impression that Mr. Trump’s relentless manipulation is a case of he-said, she-said, with merit on both sides. That is bad for the GOP, as the party becomes ever more in thrall to lies and distortions. It is bad for the country, as the president intentionally tarnishes the FBI and other key institutions. And it is bad for Republican leaders themselves, whom history will remember as moral weaklings in the face of a president who assaulted democratic institutions.
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