Wednesday on MSNBC’s “For the Record,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, reacted to remarks from Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) a day earlier suggesting someone may go to jail once the probe into the Trump campaign’s association with the Russians is complete.
According to Gowdy, it wasn’t Congress’ job to investigate criminal activity.
“The Congress doesn’t investigate crime,” Gowdy said. “She’s a witness that has relevant information for our committee’s jurisdiction, and we’re going to want to talk to her. But we won’t investigate crime, and Greta, I don’t like it when anybody accuses other people of committing crimes. Rep. Castro did it this morning, and I would have the same reaction to that. When you accuse people of committing crimes, that’s serious. And it’s not Congress’s job to investigate that. And it’s not my job as a member of Congress to level accusations like that.”
Host Greta Van Susteren asked Gowdy about Trump’s comments saying former National Security Adviser Susan Rice may have committed a crime with regards to reports she unmased the names of American citizens caught up in government surveillance. He said Trump’s remarks were “about as helpful” as Castro’s remarks.
“About as helpful as when Rep. Castro said it this earlier morning,” Gowdy said. “This is a free country. You can say what you want to say. I would rather wait until the investigation begins and then is concluded and we talk to all relevant witnesses. And if there is evidence of a crime, regardless of who committed it, proper referrals will be made to the Department of Justice. But there’s not a single member of Congress that can put anybody in jail for anything. And probably best for us not to talk about it.”
Later in the segment, Gowdy was asked if the House still had a role to play, or should it be left up to the Senate and the FBI. Gowdy argued “all of the above” should be involved and referred to House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and his role as a prosecutor.
“[I] think the Senate has a role to play and the FBI investigates counter-intelligence and criminality, but most assuredly the House has a role to play and I think we can play that role,” he said. “I’ll say the same thing I said last week. Greta, Adam Schiff is a former federal prosecutor. So am I. We know how to run investigations. We need access to the documents, access to the witnesses and we need to start conducting interviews in a setting most conducive with the most amount of information, which means confidentially. It’s the way he and I did it in our previous lives. It worked then. It will work now. The less politicizing and the more actual hard work of asking questions of serious witnesses who have relevant information, the quicker we will be on the path to finding facts and then ultimately the truth.”
“You know I love talking to you, but doing television interviews and accusing one another of things is not constructive towards finding the truth,” Gowdy added. “We need to start interviewing witnesses, and I am ready to do that and would love to have Adam’s help.
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