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Report: Trey Gowdy agrees to help Trump in impeachment fight
Former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy (R) has agreed to assist President Donald Trump and his legal team in their fight against ongoing impeachment proceedings in the House, The Washington Examiner reports.
Initial reports said that Gowdy had declined a role as Trump’s counsel after the White House approached him earlier this week, but sources close to Trump now say that Gowdy has come on board.
Confirmed, per a senior White House official, who says Trump has blessed the move. Trey Gowdy is on the Trump team. https://t.co/yjhaK8LsOF
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) October 8, 2019
House Dems take on Trump
No formal impeachment inquiry has yet been voted on by the House, but investigations into a phone call Trump had with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, have been ongoing in several committees.
At issue is whether Trump was involved in pressuring Zelensky to investigate 2020 hopeful Joe Biden, who has been accused of forcing Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating his son’s company in return for aid money from the U.S. A transcript of the call showed Trump asking Zelensky to investigate Biden, but not applying pressure or mentioning any quid pro quo.
The Trump administration has sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to say that it won’t cooperate with the investigations until a formal inquiry is voted on, according to The Washington Post. Meanwhile, the White House seems to be gearing up for what promises to be a bitter battle — and they’ve added yet another seasoned prosecutor to their team.
A voice against impeachment
Gowdy, who once served as a federal prosecutor, retired from Congress last year after eight years in office to resume his practice as an attorney. He has also been a Fox News contributor and has spoken out repeatedly against Trump’s impeachment.
Most recently, Gowdy has been very critical of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) for mischaracterizing Trump’s July phone call with Zelensky despite the availability of a transcript, and for lying about his office having contact with a so-called “whistleblower” prior to a complaint being filed alleging wrongdoing by Trump on the call.
According to Gowdy, the fact that Schiff was involved in the filing of the complaint made him a “fact witness” in the matter. Some Republicans have called on Schiff to recuse himself from the proceedings because of his involvement and his pattern of lies about Trump, but the Democrat hasn’t shown signs of budging.
Help from the outside
For his part, Gowdy will not join the staff of the White House, but will reportedly act as outside counsel in the matter. But while the lack of a formal impeachment inquiry may make his role a more indirect one at first, most believe a formal inquiry is coming when Congress returns next week.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that the Senate would have to hold a trial if articles of impeachment were passed in the House, but it is unlikely with the current (lack of) evidence that 67 senators would vote to convict Trump.
In any case, Gowdy is a formidable legal mind to have on your side. It certainly can’t hurt Trump’s chances of beating impeachment and turning it around on Democrats.
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