Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) slammed former FBI director James Comey on Thursday for "making up his mind" not to charge Hillary Clinton before the investigation into her handling of classified information was complete.
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) and Judiciary subcommittee chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) sent a letter to current FBI director Chris Wray in late August in order to address Comey's actions and collect additional information. The Senate Judiciary Committee had learned, through transcripts of interviews with top Comey aides, that the FBI director drafted a memo exonerating the former secretary of state before the FBI interviewed Clinton and other key witnesses as part of the investigation. The senators called Comey's actions "no way to run an investigation."
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Fox News host Bill Hemmer asked Gowdy Thursday whether he agreed with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' Tuesday comments, where she said Comey's actions "were improper and likely could have been illegal."
"Well Bill, if it's that clean and clear, I'm sure she's referred it to the Department of Justice. After all, President Trump handpicked Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general, so if the evidence is as clear as the press secretary says it is, I'm sure that matter is already in Jeff Sessions' office," Gowdy said.
Hemmer quoted Sanders' follow-up statement, which said, "The Department of Justice has to look at any allegations about whether or not something is illegal or not. That's not up for me to decide." He then asked Gowdy whether he knows if she referred anything of the sort to the Department of Justice.
Gowdy said he has "no idea," and that when it comes to alleging serious criminal violations, those issues should be left up to the functions of the executive branch.
"If you have evidence of a crime, instead of sharing it with a gaggle of reporters, share it with the people who can actually do something about it," Gowdy said. "That would be my advice."
Later in the interview, Gowdy did say there were reasons to replace Comey as the FBI director, including the fact he made up his mind about Clinton's punishment, or lack-thereof, before completing the investigation. He said it took the Trump administration a long time to settle on those reasons, and while he didn't necessarily agree with all those cited, there are some valid questions to ask Comey.
"If there's anything that's axiomatic in investigations, it's that you don't make up your mind until you interview the last witness," Gowdy said. "It it beyond dispute that he made up his mind not to charge Secretary Clinton before he interviewed her. There's no question about that. What my friends in the Senate have uncovered is he may well have made up his mind before he interviewed the last dozen witnesses."
He went on to question how American citizens can have confidence in investigations when the FBI reaches a conclusion before they have gathered all the facts.
"There's sufficient factual basis to bring him in and ask him, ‘when did you make up your mind that you were not going to charge Secretary Clinton?' I can tell you because I've seen with my own eyes he made up his mind before he interviewed her," Gowdy said. "How far back, whether it was two weeks or two months, quite frankly, Bill, is immaterial to me. He did it before he interviewed the last witness."