Rep. Trey Gowdy, R- S.C., believes Democrats’ fear that the FBI used the discredited Russian “dossier” to justify launching its investigation of relations between Russia and the Trump campaign best explains their opposition to looking into the matter.
“I don’t know why anyone — from (California Rep.) Adam Schiff, to Vanity Fair, to Rachel Maddow — would not be curious whether or not the world’s premier law enforcement agency relied upon a dossier in connection with an investigation without vetting it,” Gowdy told The Daily Caller on Friday.
“For the life of me I don’t understand why they are focused on this,” Gowdy, who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said of the Democratic resistance, “unless they are fearful that the bureau did rely on a piece of fiction.”
The Intelligence Committee is seeking to subpoena Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray for information about the dossier.
“I do have concerns with the majority issuance of these subpoenas to the DOJ and FBI. That was done over our opposition in the minority,” Schiff, the ranking Democrat member on the Intelligence Committee, saidin an interview on MSNBC last week.
“I think there’s a view if they discredit Christopher Steele (the dossier’s author), they can discredit the whole Russia investigation, or the whole Russia involvement in our elections,” he added.
Gowdy dismissed Schiff’s and his fellow Democrats’ complaints about the unwarranted use of the subpoena power.
“I really don’t know what in the hell they’re talking about,” Gowdy said. “The investigators on (the Intelligence Committee) have been trying for months to obtain documents about the dossier, but when you get no response, then you go from a polite request to a firm request to a legal request.”
“And if they still don’t comply with it, then we’re well within our rights — I’ve done it before — you bring in a witness and say, ‘OK, you’re under oath, you need to explain to me why you don’t think you need to share this, what am I missing?’” he added.
According to testimony by former FBI Director James Comey in the spring, Comey pulled then President-elect Trump aside at a meeting in Trump Tower in January and informed him about the existence of the dossier. Comey also stated at that time that Trump was not the focus of an investigation the FBI was conducting into Russia’s attempt to influence the election.
The dossier came into being in the summer of 2016, having been compiled by former British intelligence agent Steele for the political opposition research group Fusion GPS.
Fusion was working for an unidentified ally of Hillary Clinton.
According to CNN, the FBI used the dossier to help gain approval to secretly monitor a Trump associate.
Among the claims in the document that have been debunked is that Trump’s private attorney Michael Cohen traveled to Prague in August 2016 to meet with Russian officials.
Multiple media outlets were able to confirm that Cohen was in Los Angeles taking his son to a meeting with the baseball coach of the University of Southern California.
CNN’s Jake Tapper reported that people looked further into the matter and “concluded it was a different Michael Cohen (who traveled to Czech Republic). It was a Michael Cohen with a passport from another country, same birth year, different birth date.”
ABC News also debunked an allegation in the dossier that Cohen’s Ukrainian-born father-in-law had a vacation home near that of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Trump lambasted both CNN and BuzzFeed at the January press conference for giving any credence to the Russian dossier, calling both outlets purveyors of fake news.
The president has consistently maintained that the Russia probe is a “witch hunt” based on a collusion narrative the Democrats have employed to explain their loss in November.
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