Gowdy: IG report ‘certainly helps’ Trump

Gowdy: IG report ‘certainly helps’ Trump
© Greg Nash

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyHouse Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Democrats put harassment allegations against Trump on back burner Democrats seize on Mueller-Barr friction MORE (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that the Justice Department’s inspector general report on the handling of the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWarren policy ideas show signs of paying off Biden at campaign kickoff event: I don't have to be 'angry' to win Top Dem: Trump helps GOP erase enthusiasm gap; Ohio a big problem MORE email probe helps President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls for Republicans to be 'united' on abortion Tlaib calls on Amash to join impeachment resolution Facebook temporarily suspended conservative commentator Candace Owens MORE.

Asked on “Fox News Sunday” if the report exonerates Trump, Gowdy said, “it certainly helps him.”

Gowdy said the report proved that people involved in the investigation into whether Clinton improperly used a private email server as secretary of State were biased against Trump.

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“The same people, the same players that were involved in the Clinton probe later moved to the Russian probe. [Former CIA Director] John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanBrennan hits Trump for calling Mueller probe a 'coup': These are 'sociopathic ramblings' Brennan: Imagine if we had a president 'who did not have to obstruct justice' How I learned to love the witch hunt MORE, who said he should be in the dustpan of history, [former FBI Director] Jim Comey, who said impeachment was too good of a remedy, [former Attorney General] Loretta Lynch, who wanted Hillary Clinton to win,” Gowdy said.

In a pair of freewheeling interviews from the White House Lawn on Friday, Trump told Fox News the report had cleared his name — even though that was not one of its conclusions or purposes. 

“I think that the report yesterday, maybe more importantly than anything, it totally exonerates me,” Trump said in the second interview.

The report, however, focused on the FBI’s probe into Clinton's emails and did not touch upon the origins of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Gowdy went on to target FBI agent Peter Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page, who were revealed in the report to have sent a series of inflammatory text messages about Trump. 

“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page texted Strzok in August 2016.

“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.

Gowdy said the messages were proof of bias against Trump.

“And then we have Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the two FBI employees,” Gowdy said. “This is what is most important to me, those two presumed and pronounced Clinton’s innocence before her investigation ended and they presumed and pronounced Donald Trump’s guilt before the investigation even began.”

“So when you have that pervasiveness of bias, yes it is going to help the person complaining about the investigation,” Gowdy added.

The inspector general did not find that the conduct or potential political bias of Strzok and Page "directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed."

But, the report noted, "the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”