Senior White House adviser Jared Kushner will meet with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday as part of its investigation into possible Russian collusion with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
Kushner met with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators for about three hours behind closed doors on Monday. Prior to that meeting, he released an 11-page statement in which he denied “colluding” with Russia to influence the campaign, instead pointing out that President Trump simply ran a “smarter” campaign with a “better message.”
Rep Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) talked about the upcoming meeting between Kushner and the House investigators with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, stating that such interviews are best held behind closed doors. “Because members of Congress cannot behave themselves in public settings and every serious investigation,” Gowdy said. “You don’t know who the sheriff in your home county is talking to about the latest armed robbery,” he continued. “Serious investigations are done without time limits and frequently without the political posturing you see in this town.”
This is the way it’s done, said Gowdy, outlining the steps of any professional investigation. “You examine a witness, you cross-examine the witness, you look for corroboration or contradiction. You don’t use anonymous sources and selective leaks and prejudge the outcome. What’s happening tomorrow, us interviewing a witness, is exactly what we should be doing. His statement is helpful, it provides a roadmap. I have additional questions both based on what he said and things that there were not said in his 11-page statement. But for those who are not used to seeing how the way investigations are supposed to be run, this is how they’re supposed to be done.”
In Kushner’s detailed statement, he denied any wrongdoing or collusion, particularly in regard to a meeting with a Russian lawyer who had promised potentially damaging information on then-candidate Hillary Clinton. Gowdy pointed out that Kushner’s comments could be corroborated.
“There is corroboration for what he said,” Gowdy stated. “What he said was, ‘I didn’t know what the meeting was about. As soon as I got into it, I realized I’m in the wrong place.’ So he sent two separate emails saying, ‘Can you please call me so I can have an excuse to get out of this meeting?’ So that’s what I mean by corroboration. The fact that he didn’t remember the name of the Russian ambassador until November the 9th. That is corroboration. That is what you’re looking for in investigations: a statement, and it’s either corroborated or contradicted. In this case, it’s corroborated.”
Back in June, Rep. Gowdy was elected Thursday to serve as the next chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He formally replaced outgoing Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who resigned and left office at the end of June.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Gowdy had only positive things to say about special counsel Robert Mueller, despite GOP concerns he is politicizing the investigation into President Trump. “I do have confidence in [Mueller]. I have confidence in the women and men he has assembled on this team,” Gowdy had said, describing the special counsel as “the quintessential straight arrow.”
Gowdy’s name is resurfacing as a potential replacement for Attorney General Jeff Sessions now that the president is criticizing the former senator from Alabama because he recused himself from the Russia investigation.
ABOUT TREY GOWDY
Harold Watson “Trey” Gowdy III (born August 22, 1964) is an American attorney, politician and former prosecutor. He currently serves as the U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 4th congressional district. He is a member of the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party. His district includes much of the Upstate region of South Carolina, including Greenville and Spartanburg.
Before his election to Congress, Gowdy was the solicitor (district attorney) for the state’s Seventh Judicial Circuit, comprising Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties. From 1994 to 2000, he was a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina. In 2014, Gowdy became chairman of a House Select Committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attack. He was nicknamed The Hillary Slayer by Rolling Stone for his hardline stance against Hillary Clinton’s actions during the Benghazi case, and his critiques of Hillary Clinton’s email server during the 2016 campaign. Gowdy pressed for the prosecution of Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign.
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