In light of the recent arrest of short-lived Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort — an arrest that’s gripped the nation — one Republican representative is making sure to continue his investigations into more important matters.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, spoke to Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace and criticized Democrats for relying on the infamous “dossier” as evidence to justify their investigation of then-candidate Donald Trump and his associates during the election cycle.
The House Oversight Chairman weighed in on the ongoing controversy surrounding the dossier that, in the beginning, falsely associate Mr. Trump with the Kremlin. When Wallace asked Rep. Gowdy what his opinion was on the recent revelation that the Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee paid for the opposition research that produced the dossier in the first place, he had much to say.
“I don’t expect the DNC to be objective. Almost by definition, opposition research is not objective. I do expect an entity represented by a blindfolded woman to be objective. And 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, is whether or not the US government relied on it,” he said.
Wallace later responded with the following: “What about the fact that the Clinton campaign and the DNC, which paid $12 million for the law firm, Perkins Coie, that paid for the opposition research that led to the dossier, that in the FEC filings, it simply says $12 million to Perkins Coie, the law firm, for legal work? No mention of the fact that it was also paying for oppo research that went to Christopher Steele, former British intelligence agent, that went to the Kremlin. Not the money to the Kremlin, but his investigation.”
The news anchor added that willful misrepresentation of campaign expenditures is a criminal offense.
“Well, I’m not an election law expert, Chris, but the good news is you don’t have to be to understand the absurdity of believing that you can launder all of your campaign money by just hiring a law firm,” Rep. Gowdy responded.
“I mean, imagine if you and I were running for Congress and we just hired a law firm and said, hey, you go to all the oppo, you go buy all the television, you go buy all the bumper stickers, you go hire all the experts, and we’re going to launder all of this through a law firm. I can’t think of anything that defeats the purpose of transparency laws more than that,” he concluded.
According to The Washington Examiner, DNC lawyer Mark Elias was hired by the Clinton campaign to work alongside Fusion GPS, a Washington-based opposition research firm, to produce a document that could be used against Mr. Trump in the upcoming election. Fusion GPS hired author and former British spy Christopher Steele, whose connections in the intelligence community made him suitable for this line of work. It was this document that claimed the Russian government had compromising information on Donald Trump.
Many within the Obama administration were aware of the existence of this document, including then-President Obama, who was presented this report by then-FBI Director James Comey. Many have speculated that this dossier was what prompted the “wiretapping” scandal where Mr. Trump and his associates were illegally investigated surveilled.
Congressman Gowdy warned Democrats they shouldn’t rely only on the Trump dossier as evidence of candidate Trump colluding with Russia. Do you agree?
Although some aspects of the dossier are accurate, such as references to communications with foreign nationals, the majority of the report’s more scandalous elements have not been verified, and to date, exist as false.
If the Obama administration did chose to act on this information without vetting it properly, like Rep. Gowdy is suggesting, it would be a shocking mistake on the part of the previous administration.