Making his obligatory appearance on the Sunday show circuit, former Hillary Clinton’s Emails investigator and current Did Members Of My Party Conspire With A Foreign Power investigator Rep. Trey Gowdy took care to distance himself from … that report he helped craft.
“The President, when he looks at your report, feels vindicated,” CBS’ “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan told Gowdy in an interview. “Are you saying he should not?”
“I want to be careful how I phrase this,” Gowdy responded. “No report— The best we can do is say what we’ve learned.”
“I can’t say what’s in the universe of witnesses we have not talked to,” he continued. “And I have always maintained I am awaiting the Mueller investigation. They get to use a grand jury. They have investigative tools that we don’t have.”
“Executive branch investigations are just better than congressional ones. So we found no evidence of collusion. Whether or not it exists or not, I can’t speak to, because I haven’t interviewed the full panoply of witnesses.”
Notably, Republican members of the committee blocked attempts to interview those other witnesses, including many of the primary names being bandied about in the special counsel’s investigation of Russian election interference and the extent of the Trump campaign’s ties to that interference. The same party members that would not rest until Hillary Clinton’s email habits were investigated approximately eleventy-three times (and who, still, insist that somebody somewhere needs to be jailed for their failure to uncover anything) got truly tuckered out once the election was over, and haven’t been able to put much effort into anything since.
That Gowdy is distancing himself from the effort immediately after the (redacted) Republican report was released is not terribly surprising. He is retiring from Congress, thus dodging the need for reelection, and is currently undertaking the task of pretending that none of what happens next will be his fault. And it is certain—not “all but certain”, but certain, period—that the special counsel’s own investigation will continue to turn up criminality that the Republican Congress steadfastly overlooked, after which Republicans will, each and every time, have to explain anew why they did probe for the same facts.
Elsewhere, former FBI Director James Comey was also on the Sunday shows. Comey has a book to sell and a reputation to defend, in that order, and had few nice words for the House intelligence report or the committee that drafted it.
“The most important piece of work is the one the special counsel is doing now,” Comey told anchor Chuck Todd. “This [the House committee report] strikes me as a political document.”
Comey said he did not think that the House Intelligence Committee served a useful investigative purpose with regard to the probe of Russia’s influence operation.
Partisanship “wrecked the committee,” he said. “And it damaged relationships with the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court, the intelligence communities. It’s just a wreck.”
To be fair, it was wrecked long before the Republican majority took it upon themselves to protect the worst president of modern times from accusations of criminal acts. It began when we started electing morons to our Congress; everything slid downhill from there.