Gowdy blasts Justice Department for failing to disclose dossier funding sources
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) tore into the Justice Department on Sunday for failing to disclose in a clandestine surveillance warrant application that a controversial opposition research dossier detailing salacious allegations against President Trump was funded in part by political opponents.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Gowdy said that a secret court should have been told that the dossier was partially paid for by the Clinton campaign when the FBI sought a surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a former adviser on Trump’s campaign.
“The FBI missed a really good opportunity to tell the judge exactly who paid for that,” Gowdy said.
The House Oversight Committee chairman’s comments came a day after the Justice Department released documents related to the surveillance of Page. Those documents outline allegations that Page had “been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.”
They also cite a dossier compiled in 2016 by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele that alleges ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Republicans have repeatedly accused senior Justice Department officials of inappropriately using the dossier to obtain surveillance warrants on members of Trump’s transition team – a point that Gowdy doubled down on.
“I don’t have an issue with looking into people that have cozy relationships with Russia,” Gowdy said. “I do have an issue when you rely on unvetted political opposition research.”
“My take is that Carter Page is more like Inspector Gadget than Jason Bourne or James Bond,” Gowdy added.
Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election, as well as possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, are the subjects of a law enforcement investigation being carried out by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Trump has repeatedly called that probe a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.” Gowdy said on Sunday that he has not seen any evidence to support the allegation that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian officials.
“I have not seen one scintilla of evidence that this president colluded, conspired, confederated with Russia,” he said.
–This report was updated at 11:27 a.m.