Trump says Gowdy can’t join his legal team ‘for a couple months’

President Trump on Thursday said former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) can’t to join his outside legal team for a “couple months” because of lobbying rules one day after it was announced that Gowdy would serve as his counsel.

“Trey Gowdy is a terrific guy,” Trump told reporters outside the White House as he departed for a campaign rally.

“I think there’s a problem with — he can’t start for another couple months because of lobbying rules and regulations,” he added. “So you’ll have to ask about that. I just heard that Trey Gowdy can’t start til some time after January because of the lobbying rules and regulations. So I don’t know. We’ll have to see.”

Trump’s lead personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, said Wednesday night that Gowdy would serve as counsel to the president in response to the House’s impeachment inquiry.

Sekulow did not respond to a request for comment on Thursday seeking clarification on Gowdy’s status. 

Gowdy is a career prosecutor who served four terms in Congress. He retired in January at the conclusion of his final term.

{mosads}Gowdy’s ability to defend the president against subpoena requests would be severely hampered if he’s unable to start in an official capacity until January, though he could make appearances defending Trump on television.

The House formally launched its impeachment inquiry into Trump late last month.

Top Democrats have indicated they hope to move swiftly by keeping a narrow focus on allegations that Trump abused his office by urging the leader of Ukraine to investigate Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Democratic committee leaders have in recent days issued subpoenas demanding records from the White House, Vice President Pence, the Office of Management and Budget, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the Pentagon and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as part of the investigation.

Gowdy previously served as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and led the House Select Committee on Benghazi. In those roles, he insisted that the Obama administration comply with congressional oversight authority.

Tags Donald Trump Impeachment impeachment inquiry Jay Sekulow Joe Biden Rick Perry Rudy Giuliani Trey Gowdy

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