Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) revealed last week in a surprise announcement that he would not run for re-election this year and has decided to retire from politics.
Now, we know the real reason why.
What did Gowdy say?
Speaking on CBS "Face the Nation" Sunday, the longtime South Carolina congressman said he decided to retire for several reasons, but mostly because he enjoys fairness and justice, two attributes that have made him a "lousy" politician.
"My wife hates it when I say this, but I was a pretty good prosecutor, I think. I've been a pretty lousy politician. I've done it for seven years, I'm really grateful for the opportunity to do it, but it's time for me to — whatever time I've got left — I want to spend it in the justice system because that's where my heart is," Gowdy said.
"I enjoy the justice system, I enjoy being fair. I enjoy the pursuit of fairness as a virtue. And I'm just more comfortable in that system," he explained.
Gowdy went on to reiterate his feelings that just because he disagrees with someone politically, that doesn't mean they don't love America. But that virtue isn't popular in modern American politics, he said.
"I see multiple sides of a single issue. And the fact that someone disagrees with me, does not make me challenge their love of the country. It doesn't make me believe that they're corrupt. I've got a lot of friends on the other side of the aisle," he said.
"I don't think the end justifies the means. I think the manner in which we get places matters, and in politics too often winning is the only thing that matters," the GOP congressman explained.
When asked if he believes he served justice during his time in Congress, Gowdy said:
I tried. It's about winning in politics, and that is not what — the courtroom — there's a reason we throw out search warrants even though we find the murder weapon. There's a reason we throw out confessions even though we think the person did it. The process matters. The end does not justify the means. And in politics, it's just about winning.
In his retirement statement, Gowdy said he plans to return to the justice system upon leaving office.