Gowdy has 'complete confidence' in DOJ watchdog attacked by Trump

Gowdy has 'complete confidence' in DOJ watchdog attacked by Trump
© Moriah Ratner

Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyCongress must take the next steps on federal criminal justice reforms Lynch testimony marks final interview of GOP-led probe Comey defends FBI actions on Flynn in House interview MORE (R-S.C.) on Wednesday voiced confidence in the Justice Department's inspector general after President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE attacked the government watchdog earlier in the day over a probe into alleged surveillance abuses.

Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz "has been fair, fact centric, and appropriately confidential with his work."

“He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate without a single dissent. I have complete confidence in him," Gowdy added in a statement, saying he hopes Horowitz gets "the time, the resources and the independence to complete his work."

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Horowitz is an increasingly critical player in the controversy surrounding the FBI and the Russia probe, and has also been leading a probe of the FBI's handling of the 2016 investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonElise Stefanik seeks to tackle GOP’s women ‘crisis’ ahead of 2020 Russian pop star linked to Trump Tower meeting cancels US tour Graham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies MORE's use of a private email server as secretary of State.

Gowdy's defense of the watchdog Wednesday came after Trump took to Twitter to criticize Attorney General Jeff Sessions for appointing the inspector general — instead of Department of Justice lawyers — to investigate allegations that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was improperly used to obtain warrants to monitor the Trump campaign team.

"Why is A.G. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsGraham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies Martin, Bobby and the will to change Overnight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' MORE asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse," Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning. "Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!"

Trump’s tweet marked the latest attack against his attorney general, whom Trump has repeatedly criticized for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Former Rep. Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzTop Utah paper knocks Chaffetz as he mulls run for governor: ‘His political career should be over’ Boehner working on memoir: report Former GOP lawmaker on death of 7-year-old migrant girl: Message should be ‘don't make this journey, it will kill you' MORE (R-Utah), the previous head of the Oversight committee, said on Fox News’s "America’s Newsroom" that Trump’s Twitter attacks against Sessions were "mind-boggling" and "almost embarrassing.”

Rep. Pete KingPeter (Pete) Thomas KingHouse passes bills to fund Transportation Dept., HUD, Agriculture GOP emphasizes unity ahead of new shutdown votes Dems look to chip away at Trump tax reform law MORE (R-N.Y.) also said on Wednesday that, although he understands where the president is coming from, he would not have attacked Sessions.

Gowdy, who is set to leave Congress after this year, has previously defended Robert Mueller, the special counsel heading the investigation into alleged ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia amid Moscow's interference in the 2016 election.