South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” it is his belief that had it not been for the inclusion of the infamous “Steele dossier,” a surveillance warrant for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page never would have been issued.
Gowdy, who is one of the FISA memo’s four authors, made his statements just days after the memo was released.
The memo, which was declassified by President Donald Trump and released by GOP members on the House Intelligence Committee, details the process in which Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants were secured for Page, a former campaign official for Trump.
Due to the warrants’ reliance on just three pieces of information, the South Carolina representative revealed that the public may “never know” if the surveillance of Page was a justified occurrence, adding that “the judges are only as good as what’s put in front of them.”
As noted by CBS News, Gowdy is the only GOP member on the House Intelligence Committee who is privy to the actual contents found within the FISA warrants.
However, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the committee, has not.
Gowdy, who recently announced he will not seek re-election for Congress, emphasized that Friday’s media release doesn’t discredit the Russia election meddling investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
When asked if the FISA memo will have an effect on the Russia probe, Gowdy affirmed the negative.
“Not to me, it doesn’t, and I was pretty integrally involved in the drafting of it,” Gowdy said, adding that “There is a Russia investigation without a dossier.”
Gowdy repeated that the dossier “has nothing to do with” a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between a Russian lawyer, senior adviser Jared Kushner and Donald Trump, Jr, or with former Trump advisor Geroge Papadopoulos’ meeting in Great Britain with an Australian diplomat.
He also made clear that the dossier also “has nothing to do with” obstruction of justice.
“there’s going to be a Russia probe even without a dossier,” Gowdy added.
However, the president believes that the recently released memo “vindicates” his belief that the dossier is nothing more than a political “witch hunt.”
“This memo totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “Their (sic) was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!”
In an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation, Trump Jr. stated that he believes Mueller’s Russia investigation and the media frenzy surrounding it is “the greatest witch hunt since Salem.”
“They have pushed this narrative for so long, they need it to be true, and they will do whatever it takes to make it so,” he stated during the interview.
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