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Gowdy: I '100 percent' still believe public congressional hearings are 'a circus'

Former Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyPompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy The Hunter Biden problem won't go away Sunday shows preview: Joe Biden wins the 2020 election MORE (R-S.C.), the onetime chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, defended the use of private congressional hearings and said he instead took issue with the leaks from the House’s impeachment proceedings. 

CBS’s Margaret Brennan on Sunday played a clip of Gowdy in 2018 describing public House hearings as a “circus” and a “freakshow.” She then asked Gowdy whether he still believed that.

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“One hundred percent,” Gowdy said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” adding, “I’m a rule follower. I threw a Republican out of a hearing because he was not a member of the committee. If you’re going to have private investigations with unlimited time for questioning and cross-examining witnesses, that’s a good thing.”

“What’s not a good thing is to have selective leaks where you pick one sentence out of an eight-hour deposition,” Gowdy said.

“There were no leaks with [former special counsel Robert] Mueller,” he added, whereas House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffWhite House defends not sanctioning Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi What good are the intelligence committees? Biden holds off punishing Saudi crown prince, despite US intel MORE (D-Calif.) “uses an opening statement to give a parody” and “lies about a whistleblower.”

Brennan pressed Gowdy on testimony by diplomats that the White House had conditioned aid to Ukraine on investigations of interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate Democrats negotiating changes to coronavirus bill Rural Americans are the future of the clean energy economy — policymakers must to catch up WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year MORE’s son and asked whether that conduct constituted an impeachable offense.

Gowdy responded that there was nothing improper about investigating election interference, saying, “If a Democrat did that, we’d be adding something to Mount Rushmore.” In response, Brennan noted that allegations that the Democratic National Committee’s hacked server is currently in Ukraine have been debunked.