It looks like Trey Gowdy’s help for the Trump White House is on hold.
The White House announced last week that the former South Carolina Republican, with a reputation for tough questioning that has earned him the nickname “The Bulldog,” would be joining President Donald Trump’s legal team.
But now, a one-year ban on ex-lawmakers lobbying their former colleagues in the government has presented an obstacle, Fox News reported Monday.
That means Gowdy can’t come on board until at least Jan. 4, the one-year anniversary since his term in Congress ended.
The news that Gowdy would join Team Trump caused an immediate stir among the president’s supporters – and even among those who aren’t fans of Trump but are familiar with Gowdy’s career.
(Meghan McCain, the late Sen. John McCain’s daughter and a co-host on ABC’s “The View,” predicted Thursday that Gowdy would be a “good news for Trump” and “bad news for Democrats.”)
Gowdy even lost his slot as a contributor to Fox News over the deal. The Hollywood Reporter published a statement Wednesday from Fox announcing: “Trey Gowdy has been terminated and is no longer a contributor.”
But, according to The New York Times, questions started arising almost immediately about whether Gowdy could take the position.
Federal lobbying laws prohibit ex-lawmakers from contacting those still in office for a year, The Times reported.
Since Gowdy’s participation in Trump’s legal work was expected to include television appearances, Gowdy worried it might run counter to the law.
According to The Times, Trump himself told reporters on Thursday that Gowdy would not be working for the White House until January.
“Trey Gowdy is a terrific guy,” Trump said on his way to Thursday’s campaign rally in Minneapolis. “He can’t start for another couple of months because of lobbying rules and regulations. So you’ll have to ask about that.”
In its report, based on an anonymous source, Fox noted that Gowdy is still expected to join Trump, but stated that “a lot can change” between October and the new year.
There’s no way of knowing how far the “impeachment inquiry” begun in the House will have progressed by then.
On Tuesday, according to NBC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the probe should be conducted “carefully, not hastily.”
And that means there is likely to be plenty of time for Gowdy to still work for the White House if both sides are still interested when January rolls around.
But right now, any help from “The Bulldog” is on hold.
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