In a Fox News interview that aired Sunday, outgoing Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) suggested that it may be time to appoint a second special counsel — this time to investigate whether the Obama Administration's Department of Justice abused and lied to the FISA courts in order to obtain warrants, including the wiretap warrant against former Trump campaign official Carter Page.
Gowdy told host Maria Bartiromo that the dueling, partisan national security memos, released within weeks of each other, prove that Congress cannot fully investigate whether the Obama DOJ took appropriate action in obtaining its FISA warrants without devolving into partisan rancor. And since the Justice Department can't be trusted to investigate itself, the only solution is a special counsel.
“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,” Gowdy 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 says it also may be impossible for either body to launch its own comprehensive probe because certain witnesses, who Gowdy says he's spoken to, wouldn't be available to either Congress or the DOJ. Certain witnesses, Gowdy claims, are simply out of reach of an inspector general or a Congressional committee.
“You need an independent arbiter, and the Department of Justice cannot investigate itself. [DOJ investigator Michael] 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," he continued.
Gowdy's statements represent a rift within the Republican Congressional contingent over how to handle the FISA memos and any potential investigation that might result from releasing both Republican-edited and Democrat-edited versions. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) , who shepherded the release of the Republican memo, recently agreed to having the FBI's inspector general enter his investigation.