House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said Sunday a second special counsel may be needed in Washington.
Gowdy explained on Fox News that a special counsel may be needed to investigate the Department of Justice and its handling of two major recent investigations.
Specifically, the DOJ has come under scrutiny for how it obtained a FISA court warrant on a former member of the Trump campaign. Republicans alleged in a controversial memo last month it was obtained based on the salacious anti-Trump dossier, whereas Democrats said in a rebuttal memo that raw intelligence, not based on the memo, was used to obtain it.
Either way, there are questions about the DOJ’s scope of power and some have questioned if the government has been illegally surveilling Americans.
“You know, Maria, this Democrat memo makes me smile. If it were up to Adam Schiff, if it were up to him, it would have been a haiku, and not a memo because he did everything he could to keep us from finding out any of the information that was in either one of those memos,” he said.
“So Congress has proven itself incapable of investigating this FISA abuse. DOJ should not be looking into it. We need an independent arbiter that’s either the inspector general or special counsel,” Gowdy explained.
The South Carolina congressman added that he is “reluctant” to call for another special counsel, but said in this case, it may be “unavoidable.”
Gowdy’s discussion with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo began by discussing the current internal investigation in the DOJ lead by inspector general Michael Horowitz, who is investigating the DOJ’s handling of both the Hillary Clinton email probe and the Russia investigation.
That’s when Gowdy further explained why he believes a second special counsel is needed because many of the witnesses needed for a fair investigation into the DOJ are outside of Horowitz’s jurisdiction.
“Maria over the weekend, I’d counted up almost two dozen witnesses that the inspector general would not have access to, were he alone conducting this investigation, so I think we’re trending, perhaps, toward another special counsel because of this unique fact pattern and the fact that there are witnesses outside the reach of the inspector general,” he explained.
Bartiromo followed up: “So we should have then, you believe, another special counsel to investigate these matters? How does one investigate itself frankly?”
Well you don’t. I wish that I had been able to grade my own papers in college and law school, but I was not able to. I would have done better first of all, but we don’t put family members on the jury. We don’t put friends on the jury.
You need an independent arbiter, and the Department of Justice cannot investigate itself. Horowitz can —
Horowitz is a fair guy, but when there are two dozen witnesses that have left the department or worked for another agency, someone else has to do it and I am reluctant to call for special counsel, but I think it may be unavoidable in this fact pattern.