Rep. Trey Gowdy doesn’t see much of a difference between President Obama’s Department of Justice and the same department under President Trump when it comes to trying to get information about how it used a dossier of dubious information.
Speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” Gowdy said the Justice Department has been reluctant to be up-front and accurate about how it used the dossier developed by a former British spy who was working for a firm doing opposition research against Trump. Reports indicate the FBI and other investigate agencies may have used the dossier to get warrants in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump colluded with the Kremlin.
“It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between the Obama Department of Justice and the current Department of Justice in terms of transparency and their willingness to share information with Congress,” Gowdy said.
“This is a really simple request. Did you rely on the dossier, and if so, did you vet it before you relied upon ii? You can answer that and 30 seconds, but it's taken three months for the Department of Justice, and only recently have they agreed to give us the information. The battle is not just with House Democrats, unfortunately it's also with the Department of Justice.”
Given that the dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, it should not have been used for government investigations unless there was some serious corroboration of the details, Gowdy said.
“If they relied on that dossier and they didn't corroborate it or vet it, then we have a serious issue and that's the next thing that House intel is trying to find out, whether or not the U.S. government relied on it,” he said.
Gowdy said House Democrats have been “unserious” about uncovering the details of the dossier, how it was developed, and who paid for it.
The revelations this week that the DNC and Clinton’s campaign were directly involved in funding it may give some answers to why they aren’t playing along, he said.
“That's the most important thing to me is how unserious the Democrats in the house have been about uncovering all of the facts,” he said. “I am interested in who paid for the dossier because that helps you understand motive and intent and whether or not you can rely on the document. I am much more interested in whether or not the Department of Justice and the FBI relied upon that dossier and initiating a counterintelligence investigation or in court findings.”