Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) responded to the bombshell revelation last week that former FBI Director James Comey’s FBI had insufficient predication to establish probable cause in surveilling the Trump campaign by saying that there is more that is going to come out on the matter.
“Trey Gowdy, John Ratcliffe, Jim Jordan, and I knew the facts of this,” Meadows told Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo. “We knew that not only that that third and fourth FISA application had problems with it, but we also know that there were real probable cause concerns with the first and second one. So, we haven’t seen the end of this.”
“Why does it matter? It matters for this reason, Adam Schiff knew that there were problems with that,” Meadows continued. “He purposely went out and suggested that Devin Nunes was not correct with his analysis, just like he’s purposely going out right now spinning a narrative as it relates to Ukrainian aid being held up for some nefarious purpose. It just didn’t happen.”
MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Welcome back. President Trump’s legal team resumes its defense tomorrow morning in the Senate impeachment trial.
His attorneys have indicated they plan to keep things shorter and less repetitive than Democratic House managers did in making their case.
Let’s bring in a member of the president’s defense team, Congressman Mark Meadows, Republican from North Carolina. He sits on the House Oversight Committee. Also joining us is former South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy, who served as chairman of the House Oversight Committee. He’s a former prosecutor and now a FOX News contributor.
Gentlemen, it’s wonderful to have you this morning. Thanks very much for joining us.
REP. MARK MEADOWS (R-NC): Great to be with you.
TREY GOWDY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, ma’am. Thank you.
BARTIROMO: Congressman Mark Meadows, let me kick it off with you. What can we expect from the defense team tomorrow morning?
MEADOWS: Well, obviously the two hours that was presented Saturday morning really went a long way to undercut the foundation of what Adam Schiff and his team laid out on three previous days.
I can tell you, it is more about what Adam Schiff didn’t tell the American people than what he did tell them.
Mike Purpura did a great job of lining out those nine things. Why didn’t Adam Schiff tell you these nine important facts? And so what we will see on Monday is a strategic building upon that foundation to tell the rest of the story.
Trey Gowdy and I got to see the very beginnings of the whole Russia investigation. And we knew that Adam Schiff multiple times was, at best, mischaracterizing the evidence that he had.
But we’re going to continue to see that on Monday, as the entire team builds step by step, block by block, the reasons why there’s not only not an impeachable case, but certainly not even anything that comes remotely close to high crimes and misdemeanors.
MEADOWS: And this is all about politics, Maria. It has nothing to do with witnesses or anything else. It’s all about a political – really a political allegation, trying to impugn the president’s reputation.
BARTIROMO: And, Trey Gowdy, it’s interesting, because the House prosecutors’ strategy seems to be, let’s shame the senators, saying, well, I guess you have to go with President Trump. Otherwise, your head will be on a pike, or, look, you’re all involved in a cover-up.
But the legal team of the president, that strategy, partly, is including an indictment of Adam Schiff’s character, looking back to what Adam Schiff said during the Russia collusion narrative, which, of course, was not true, and to show that there were lies throughout.
What do you advise the president’s team to take, what tack to take?
TREY GOWDY, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I would let them let Jerry never take all the time he wants to talk.
GOWDY: Jerry Nadler’s trial strategy is to insult the jury. I was in a lot of courtrooms, Maria. I never, ever saw a prosecutor have as a strategy, let’s see what we can do to infuriate, alienate, and offend the jury.
What I would do if I were – you know, the president has got a great team. Mark is great, Ratcliffe, Pat. But I would begin to ask questions of Schiff. And I would kind of connect the process with the substance. I would go line by line through that parody.
Adam Schiff had a chance to read the actual transcript, the actual evidence. He opted instead to create, to manufacture a parody. I would go line by line through that parody and ask Adam Schiff, why did you say that?
You have the actual transcript of the call. Why was that not good enough for you, Adam? Why did you have to make up [out of] whole cloth?
I would also ask him, is it never okay to investigate someone who is running for office? I mean, if Joe Biden were not a presidential candidate, if he just like me and you, Maria, just a regular person, can you investigate him then? I mean, somehow this status of being a candidate means you’re off-limits?
The only thing I would ask is, it took a conversation in a bar to investigate President Trump. That is all it took, a conversation in a bar, to investigate President Trump. What would it take to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden?
GOWDY: I mean, if it is just a conversation in a bar, is that the threshold to investigate?
BARTIROMO: Yes. The other thing is, you haven’t seen the 18th transcript, Mark. You haven’t – Congressman Meadows. You haven’t seen the I.G. And that was the 18th transcript.
Let’s take a short break, because there are other things to get to, including this news we got, an admission of guilt from the Department of Justice. Congressman Mark Meadows, Trey Gowdy coming back with me after this.
BARTIROMO: Trey Gowdy, Congressman Mark Meadows.
I want to get to the news of the week, gentlemen. And that was an admission from the Department of Justice that the Department of Justice said that at least two of the FBI surveillance applications to secretly monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page lacked probable cause, they were unlawful.
That’s not what we heard from Jim Comey back in 2018.
Roll the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER FBI DIRECTOR: I have total confidence that the FISA process was followed and that the entire case was handled in a thoughtful, responsible way by DOJ and the FBI.
I think the notion that FISA was abused here is nonsense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BARTIROMO: Nonsense, Mark Meadows. Your reaction?
MEADOWS: Well, Maria, you have been covering this.
Trey Gowdy, John Ratcliffe, Jim Jordan, and I knew the facts of this. We knew that not only that that third and fourth FISA application had problems with it, but we also know that there were real probable cause concerns with the first and second one.
So, we haven’t seen the end of this.
Why does it matter? It matters for this reason, Adam Schiff knew that there were problems with that. He purposely went out and suggested that Devin Nunes was not correct with his analysis, just like he’s purposely going out right now spinning a narrative as it relates to Ukrainian aid being held up for some nefarious purpose.
It just didn’t happen.
BARTIROMO: It’s all connected, Trey Gowdy.
GOWDY: Yes. Four different times, the United States government went and asked permission to surveil a presidential candidate. At least two of them, they lacked the lowest level of evidence needed, the lowest level of evidence needed.
This is not the search of some meth lab in a trailer park. It is surveilling a presidential candidate. And the FBI and DOJ struck out at least two out of four times, and maybe all four.
Schiff, Comey, McCabe, The Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, they were all wrong, and those crazy House Republicans turned out to be right after all.
BARTIROMO: And yet that’s not what you heard from Adam Schiff in the trial. Do you believe he will be – the president will be acquitted, very quickly, Mark Meadows?
MEADOWS: He will be acquitted. We need to get this over with quickly, so it doesn’t linger into the November elections.
BARTIROMO: Okay, we will leave it there. Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us.