Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., on Wednesday split from fellow Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, by saying he doesn't believe the threshold has been met for appointing a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and the FBI's handling of its investigation into her use of a private email server.
“I don’t think the threshold has been met for the appointment of special counsel," Gowdy told Fox News on Wednesday. "I think this is a really important point. You can investigate something without special counsel."
"In fact, 99.9 percent of all investigations in this country are done by the women and men at the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and none of them is called special counsel,” Gowdy said. “So there is a threshold that has to be met, and I don’t think it has been met. To say we’re not going to appoint special counsel is not to say we’re not going to look into something.”
Jordan and other Republicans have been pressing the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate a number of issues related to Clinton, including the FBI’s handling of the investigation into her email use, the Obama-era Uranium One deal, the Clinton Foundation, and the so-called “Trump dossier.”
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Jordan pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions on why a special counsel hasn’t yet been appointed when it “looks like” there has been wrongdoing.
“I would say ‘looks like’ is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel,” Sessions told Jordan before explaining the legal basis for naming one.
Sessions did direct senior federal prosecutors to evaluate whether a special counsel should be tapped to probe the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One deal, among other matters of concern to Republicans, according to a letter sent to the House Judiciary Committee.
Gowdy said Wednesday that while he does agree there should be an investigation, he doesn’t believe the threshold for appointing a special counsel has been met.
“The threshold is, is there a conflict of interest? And is it in the interest of justice to go pick someone who is not even part of the system right now to investigate something? I don’t think it’s been met yet,” he said.