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Former Congressman Trey Gowdy, who made headlines in 2015 for leading the Benghazi select committee and its public questioning of Hillary Clinton, called the high-profile testimonies “utterly useless” when asked about the public statements by Trump fixer Michael Cohen last week.

On Fox and Friends Monday morning, Gowdy, who didn’t run for re-election last year and is now a private attorney with a Fox News deal, was asked about the testimony in which Cohen called President Donald Trump a racist and a con man during a widely televised public hearing.

“What we learned this past week is just how utterly useless public congressional hearings are,” Gowdy said about the made-for-TV portions of the hearing where members have five minutes to question the person called to testify.

Following up, F&F host Steve Doocy opened the door to let Gowdy dish a little bit on his former Democratic colleagues, but the disenchanted ex-politician turned the question to discount the structure of public hearings generally, contrasting the rapid fire public sessions with more methodical closed door interviews, which he said were likely helpful last week.

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Discussing the Beghazi Select Committee that he chaired, Gowdy conceded that his public eight-hour public hearing with Hillary Clinton was an “utter, unmitigated failure,” conceding that the public interview “didn’t go very well.” Those proceedings were punctuated by shouting matches between Gowdy and members of the committee.

In all, Gowdy’s temporary committee reportedly spent more than $7 million to investigate wrongdoing by Clinton, finding none, before shutting down in December 2016. The committee was critical of Clinton, the CIA, and President Barack Obama, but found no new wrongdoing.


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