Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) pushed back against President Donald Trump’s lawyer on Sunday, after attorney John Dowd said the special counsel’s Russia probe should end following the firing of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe.
“To suggest that [special counsel] Robert Mueller should shut down and that all he is looking at is collusion [is wrong],” said Gowdy in a “Fox News Sunday” interview. “If you have an innocent client, Mr. Dowd, act like it.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on Friday, less than two days before he was set to retire with full benefits. Sessions claimed McCabe had “lacked candor,” a phrase that many have interpreted as an accusation that McCabe had lied, in an internal review of how the FBI and Justice Department handled an investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
In a Saturday response, Dowd, said that the Justice Department should immediately end Mueller’s probe into possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.
Gowdy, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added that it was important for Mueller to continue his work examining possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which he said expands beyond the question of whether Trump’s presidential campaign colluded in those efforts.
“The president’s attorney frankly does him a disservice when he says that and when he frames the investigation that way,” said Gowdy.
Earlier this month, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released their findings of the investigation into Russian election meddling, concluding that there had been no specific effort to favor Trump. The finding challenged a previous determination made by U.S. intelligence agencies, and Gowdy himself appeared to contest the Republican conclusion in a later statement. Democrats on the committee rebuked their Republican colleagues, calling it “premature” to end the probe and vowing to continue investigating.
House Republicans also found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. That would presumably mean that Trump’s attorney should have nothing to fear from the Mueller investigation, Gowdy added on Sunday.
“If you believe, as we found, there’s no evidence of collusion, you should want special counsel Mueller to take all the time and have all the independence he needs to do his job,” said Gowdy.