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 GowdyGowdy remembers political opponent, good friend Elijah Cummings Hill editor-in-chief: 'Hard to imagine' House leadership without Cummings Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 MORE (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that the Justice Department’s inspector general report on the handling of the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders: 'Outrageous' to suggest Gabbard 'is a foreign asset' Clinton attacks on Gabbard become flashpoint in presidential race Saagar Enjeti: Clinton remarks on Gabbard 'shows just how deep the rot in our system goes' MORE email probe helps President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails 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 BrennanFederal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review: report Trump denies knowledge of Barr meeting in Italy, says it would be appropriate Krystal Ball defends praise of Yang: I am not 'a Russian plant' 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 MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network 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.”