Trey Gowdy ‘terminated’ by Fox News after joining Trump’s legal team

October 10, 2019

It looks like Trey Gowdy’s post-Congress stint at Fox News is over.

The Republican stalwart was fired by the network, less than a year since joining as a contributor in January. Gowdy, a former prosecutor, is joining President Donald Trump’s legal team as the president responds to the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“Trey Gowdy has been terminated and is no longer a contributor,” a Fox News spokesperson wrote in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.

Terminated over Trump?

Gowdy, who became known in Congress for his role in the Benghazi investigation, left Congress before the midterm elections in 2018, saying that he had grown tired of the partisan atmosphere of Washington. But apparently, Gowdy still has an appetite to jump into the middle of the biggest political circus in the country.

The White House confirmed that Gowdy will join President Trump’s legal team as he faces down an impeachment threat from Democrats. Attorney Jay Sekulow indicated that he already has a personal and professional rapport with the Republican former lawmaker.

“I am pleased to announce that former Congressman Trey Gowdy is joining our team as counsel to the president,” Sekulow in a statement Wednesday night. “I have known Trey for years and worked with him when he served in Congress. His legal skills and his advocacy will serve the president well. Trey’s command of the law is well known and his service on Capitol Hill will be a great asset as a member of our team.”

Reports of Gowdy’s decision to join Trump’s legal team first surfaced Tuesday. Fox announced Gowdy’s departure Wednesday, noting that he “was” a Fox News contributor while breaking news of his new job with Trump.

It is not unusual for networks to hire former politicians, but they “generally cut ties with them if they re-enter the political fray,” The Hollywood Reporter explained. Although Gowdy is leaving Fox, Axios reported that he will make TV appearances to defend Trump.

Gowdy returns to the fray, for now

The Republican was formerly the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and also led the House Benghazi Committee, during which time he grilled Hillary Clinton over her role in that disaster. His handling of those hearings helped his star rise through a brief career in the House, which began in 2010 when he won his first term.

Gowdy has had a complicated relationship with Trump and his supporters. Once an ardent defender of Robert Mueller’s probe, Gowdy was at one time criticized by Trump supporters for questioning allegations that President Trump’s campaign was subjected to spying, but he has since expressed greater skepticism of the Trump-Russia probe throughout his time as Fox contributor.

At Fox, Gowdy often weighed in on the Trump-Russia investigation and recently blasted Democrat Adam Schiff (CA) for publicly reciting a fictionalized version of President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine. Gowdy’s criticism of the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry is a remarkable about-face from his previously measured response to the Mueller “witch hunt.”

Gowdy joined the law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP after leaving Congress, saying that he was tired of politics and wanted to return to law — but it looks like he’s back. President Trump called Gowdy a “terrific guy” Thursday and said that the Republican would not be able to join until January because of lobbying regulations.


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Matthew Boose

Matthew Boose is a staff writer for Conservative Institute. He has a Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University and has contributed to The Daily Caller and The Stony Brook Press.