Former congressman Trey Gowdy said information secretly gathered by the FBI would be a “game-changer” in terms of public understanding of the start of investigations that tried to find a connection between the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump and Russia.
The South Carolina Republican said transcripts of conversations that took place between Trump aide George Papadopoulos, a target of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, and FBI informants would put a whole new light on the actions of America’s intelligence community, according to Fox News.
“If the bureau’s going to send in an informant in, the informant’s going to be wired, and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there’s going to be a transcript of that,” he said on the Fox Business program “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“Some of us have been fortunate enough to know whether or not those transcripts exist. But they haven’t been made public, and I think one, in particular … it has the potential to actually persuade people.
“Very little in this Russia probe I’m afraid is going to persuade people who hate Trump or love Trump. But there is some information in these transcripts that has the potential to be a game-changer if it’s ever made public,” Gowdy said.
The former House Oversight Committee chairman and House Judiciary Committee member noted that Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe has been among those making the case that efforts to spy on the Trump campaign were slanted.
“Johnny Ratcliffe is rightfully exercised over the obligations the government has to tell the whole truth to a court when you are speaking permission to spy or do surveillance on an American,” Gowdy said.
He said the process of getting permission to conduct surveillance “includes the responsibility of providing exculpatory information or information that tends to show the person did not do something wrong.”
“If you have exculpatory information and you don’t share it with the court, that ain’t good,” Gowdy said. “I’ve seen it, Johnny has seen it, I’d love for your viewers to see it.”
In October 2018, Ratcliffe, in an interview on “Sunday Morning Futures,” outlined his concerns that the probe was triggered by a deliberate use of one-sided information.
At the time, he called upon Trump to release documents about the beginning of the Russia probe.
“It would expose certain folks at the Obama Justice Department and FBI and their actions and their action taken to conceal material facts from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,” Ratcliffe said.
“The underlying pretext to the entire Trump-Russia investigation, is this idea that George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign associate, had a conversation with an Australian diplomat about getting Hillary Clinton’s e-mails from the Russians,” he said.
“Hypothetically, if the Department of Justice and the FBI has another piece of evidence that directly refutes, that directly contradicts that, what you would expect is for the Department of Justice to present both sides of the coin to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to evaluate the weight and sufficiency of that evidence.”
On Sunday, Gowdy not only suggested evidence that would have argued against an investigation was not presented, he trashed the used of the now-discredited Christopher Steele dossier as America’s intelligence community was readying its case against Trump.
“I mean, let’s just call it for what it is. It’s a series of rank hearsay compilations put together by an FBI source who was later defrocked. Paid for by the Democrat National Committee, then, oh by the way, Christopher Steele hated Donald Trump too, so that we can call it a dossier. It sounds official,” Gowdy said.
“It’s really something the National Enquirer would blush if they printed, so we know that it was used four times by the United States government.”
Gowdy said key figures involved are hedging against the use of the dossier, including former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan.
“What we’re trying to figure out is whether or not it was used a fifth time and the intelligence assessment and you got Brennan, Clapper and Comey, all three who know full well whether or not it was used in the intelligence assessment but they’re giving you different versions,” Gowdy said.
“So there is information that exists in December of 2016 and I hope anyone who has access to it … go look at that,” he said.
“And I think it will help you understand whether or not that dossier, that unverified hearsay, was used for five times or just four times by the United States government. It’s pretty bad if it was just four times, it’s really bad if it was five.”
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