Former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said Saturday that he disagrees with congressional Republicans who want the special counsel’s Russia report to be made public.
“I’m in a really small minority, Neil,” Gowdy said in an interview with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto.
“I don’t think the report should be released at all and I’m frankly surprised so many Republicans think it should be.”
Republican lawmakers have supported releasing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report of the Russia investigation. Attorney General William Barr told Congress on Friday that a version of the report will be provided to lawmakers by mid-April, if not sooner.
Barr released a summary of Mueller’s main conclusions from the 22-month investigation last Sunday. According to Barr, Mueller was unable to establish that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election.
Democrats have called on Barr to provide the report to Congress by April 2 and without redactions. Barr said that he is reviewing Mueller’s report, with the help of the special counsel, and may withhold grand jury information and classified information contained in the report.
Most Republicans have come out in favor of releasing the report given that it appears to exonerate Trump on the issue of collusion. Trump himself has said he supports releasing the report.
Like Gowdy, some Republicans have cautioned that the report is still likely to contain embarrassing information or evidence that Democrats can use to claim that Trump had improper relations with Russia.
Gowdy argued Saturday that Republicans’ stance on releasing the report does not gel with concerns they raised about Mueller’s investigation.
“A lot of the Republicans think the investigation was flawed from its inception,” Gowdy said.
“Remember, that Strzok was biased, that Papadopoulos was set up, that the dossier was a political hit piece so if the investigation was flawed from its inception, why is the report not also flawed?”
Gowdy, who left Congress in January, was referring to anti-Trump text messages that former FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok exchanged with his mistress.
“I don’t think the report should be released because the Department of Justice speaks in indictments. They’ve already indicted a lot of people,” said Gowdy.
“If you’re not indicted, I don’t know that the Department of Justice should be releasing a political hit piece that people like Schiff and Nadler are then going to use for 2020.”
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