Freedom Caucus chairman pokes back at key Republican’s defense of FBI

Freedom Caucus chairman pokes back at key Republican’s defense of FBI
© Greg Nash

The GOP chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus countered fellow Republican Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdySunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely MORE (S.C.) for defending the FBI from accusations of bias this week, telling Politico in an interview that he wants to know why Gowdy believes the FBI's actions surrounding the Trump campaign were legitimate.

In an interview with Politico published Saturday, Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsLawmakers grill Census Bureau officials after report on cybersecurity issues Conservative lawmakers warn Pelosi about 'rate-setting' surprise billing fix House GOP leader says reassignment of Vindman was appropriate MORE (R-N.C.) said he was "anxious" to see the evidence Gowdy had viewed that convinced him the agency's use of a confidential informant to contact the Trump campaign was not politically motivated.

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His demand comes after Gowdy told reporters that FBI agents did their jobs when investigating allegations about the Trump campaign's ties to Russia.

“I don’t know what the FBI could have done or should have done other than run out a lead that someone loosely connected with the campaign was making assertions about Russia,” Gowdy said earlier this week.

“I am anxious to see what documents Chairman Gowdy has reviewed that would lead him to believe that the FBI did everything above board,” Meadows responded.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), father of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, lashed out at Gowdy in an email to Politico over President TrumpDonald John TrumpChasten Buttigieg: 'I've been dealing with the likes of Rush Limbaugh my entire life' Lawmakers paint different pictures of Trump's 'opportunity zone' program We must not turn our heads from the effects of traumatic brain injuries MORE's spying claims, calling Gowdy's willingness to believe the FBI "out of character" for him.

“Such credulity seems strangely out of character for someone like Gowdy, a seasoned prosecutor who knows better than to believe people who continue to hide mountains of evidence,” Huckabee told Politico.

Trump has frequently claimed without evidence in recent weeks that FBI agents planted a "spy" in his campaign for political purposes, even charging that the conspiracy could reach as far as former President Obama.

Gowdy, the top Republican on the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, threw cold water on that idea this week, telling reporters that law enforcement agencies do not use "spies" in their work.

“I’ve never heard the term ‘spy’ used,” Gowdy said. “Undercover informant, confidential informant, those are all words I'm familiar with. I've never heard the term spy used."