This week, Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) will be among those to leave Congress. We already know that he has chosen to relinquish his seat in order to return to the practice of law. But now, we might know just where he is headed.
According to a number of reports, upon leaving Congress, Gowdy will be making a return to Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, a South Carolina law firm for which he once worked before becoming a federal prosecutor.
This newest bit of information was first made public by The Post and Courier, citing unnamed sources. It has yet to be confirmed by Gowdy.
When asked last Thursday whether the rumors are true, Gowdy is reported to have “smiled, shrugged and said he could neither confirm nor deny it.” He added that he is not confirming anything until his departure from Congress in order to avoid having to file additional disclosures.
But during an interview on the Fox News Channel last week, Gowdy did drop a hint about his future, saying that he intends to join “a firm that I have a history with.”
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough would certainly fit that description. Gowdy worked there as a white-collar criminal defense attorney in the 1990s. The firm, which is the largest law firm in South Carolina, has not commented on the rumors.
Gowdy done with politics
Gowdy made his desire to leave Congress known back in January, explaining that he has become fed up with politics.
“Whatever skills I may have are better utilized in a courtroom than in Congress, and I enjoy our justice system more than our political system,” Gowdy said in a statement released at the time. “As I look back on my career, it is the jobs that both seek and reward fairness that are most rewarding.”
After this news broke, Gowdy appeared in a number of interviews, where he repeated that he wants to work somewhere “where facts matter.”
“I like jobs where facts matter,” Gowdy said on CNN. “I like jobs where fairness matters. I like jobs where, frankly, where the process matters. It’s not just about winning and it’s not just about reaching a result.”
Looking backward and forward
Gowdy was first elected to Congress in 2010, representing South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District. During the past eight years, he has gotten a first-hand look at how political dysfunction is tearing that institution apart, not to mention the effect it is having on the country at large.
During his time in the Capitol, Gowdy has become one of the leading opponents of hyperpartisan behavior in Congress, raising awareness about it on television, often through direct criticism. That, in combination with the roles he has played on various committees, especially when he chaired for the House Select Committee on Benghazi, have earned Gowdy the reputation of being tough but fair, for which he has gained respect from colleagues and conservatives.
It’s disappointing to lose another smart, thoughtful congressman like Gowdy — there’s too few in leadership already. But we can’t say we blame him.