Fox News "Sunday Morning Futures" - Transcript: Interview with Rep. Trey Gowdy

Interview

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BARTIROMO: Senator Lindsey Graham.

And House Republicans are planning a closed-door meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein this upcoming week, this after that explosive New York Times report claiming Rosenstein talk about secretly recording President Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.

Joining me right now is South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy. He's the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. He also serves on the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.

It is good to see you, Congressman. Thanks very much for joining.

REP. TREY GOWDY, R-SOUTH CAROLINA: Yes, ma'am. Thank you.

BARTIROMO: What do you want to see in this upcoming week between the meeting of Rosenstein and the president?

GOWDY: Well, I want to see the memos.

I never thought I should have gone to journalism school to get access to Andy McCabe's memos, instead of running for Congress. I mean, think about that for a second. You need an online subscription to The New York Times to read Andy McCabe's memos, despite the fact Congress has been asking for it for months.

So I need to see the memos. I need to ask Rod what he said. And then we will get to what he meant. Those may or may not be the same thing.

Lindsey Graham is right. When your star witness is Andy McCabe, who is already in trouble for both a lack of candor and affirmatively misrepresenting the truth, I want to hear -- Rod deserves to be heard out, and I appreciate the president talking to him this week.

And we're going to talk to him. And I want to know what he said. Then I want to know what he meant. I want to know whether anyone else was present for these meetings. But if your case hinges on the credibility of Andy McCabe, good luck.

BARTIROMO: This is exactly the reason that your colleagues in the Intel Committee want to understand better what went into this whole narrative of Donald Trump having anything to do with Russia meddling.

And, of course, we had news on that this week, your committee, the Intel Committee. Let's talk a bit about that and what we might see from some of these documents that are to be released.

GOWDY: Yes.

Well, you're going to see that Tom Rooney, Mike Conaway and I asked collusion, coordination, conspiracy questions of every single witness, from Jared Kushner to Donald Trump Jr. to Steve Bannon to Susan Rice, Samantha Power. I want -- I want your viewers and my fellow citizens to see every question that was asked.

And what they will learn is, Republicans were just as interested in finding out what happened with respect to collusion, coordination, conspiracy as anyone else. And what they will also learn is that Adam Schiff wanted to go back 25 years and ask questions of witnesses while they were in junior high school.

And then he goes and gets the sparkle notes from the "Brothers Karamazov" and decides to ask about Russian -- ominous-sounding Russian names that none of the witnesses had ever heard of.

So I can't wait for the transcripts to come out and defeat this narrative that Adam Schiff is the only one that is concerned about collusion. You can rest assured this, Maria. If there were evidence of collusion, Adam would have leaked it a long time ago.

But there is not. And I can't wait for the transcripts to be public.

BARTIROMO: Right.

And the House and Intel Committee voted on Friday morning to declassify the transcripts of interviews with more than 50 witnesses from the committee's Trump-Russia investigation.

How much longer do we give the DOJ and the FBI the benefit of the doubt, sir? You have been asking for documents for well over a year, and you still are yet to see specific documents related to how this investigation started.

GOWDY: I have seen almost every document that they're going to allow Congress to see. Paul and Devin have been really good and letting me go to the department.

I also used to work for the Department of Justice. So I understand the tension between the branches. What I do not understand -- think back to Jim Comey memos. Remember, only two of us could read them. And then we couldn't talk about them.

And God forbid they be released publicly. And then the next thing you know, they're in every major newspaper, and you're sitting there wondering, why couldn't I read this six months ago? I wonder if the same thing is going to be true within the McCabe memos. I wonder if the same thing is going to be true with the Bruce Ohr 302s.

I think what my fellow citizens are going to see is that the department and the bureau sometimes hide behind an ongoing criminal probe just because they don't want us to see things that are embarrassing for them. And that's not right.

And the department should be big and strong enough to withstand a few bad actors. The overwhelming majority of those employees are fantastic. I worked with them for 20 years.

BARTIROMO: Right.

GOWDY: For every Peter Strzok, there are 1,000 people that you would love.

BARTIROMO: Right. But Peter Strzok had his hand on the wheel.

GOWDY: But we need to see the documents. Every...

BARTIROMO: This was the guy running the investigation, though.

GOWDY: Every aspect of it, yes, ma'am, exactly the wrong person to be doing it.

BARTIROMO: We all thought that leaking to the media was against the law. So, I guess I'm scratching my head, saying, if we know all of these leaks have occurred, how come people like Adam Schiff are not in trouble?

We're going to take a short break, Congressman, but I want to ask you about that, because, to the rest of us in the audience this morning, we thought leaking was against the law.

Stay with us. Back in a moment.

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BARTIROMO: And I am back with Congressman Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, also serving on the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.

And, Congressman, the question I asked you before we went to break was that of accountability, really. We understand that there have been a lot of leaks to the media. And that's against the law, is it not?

GOWDY: Well, I want your viewers to think about two different tracks.

There is confidential information, where parties have an expectation of privacy, where you have given your word that you won't repeat it. That's not criminal. That's a moral issue. The criminal -- the legal issue becomes when you disseminate classified information.

Now, there's been both done in the last 18 months, but -- but -- and I'm concerned about both. One is a crime that should be investigated by the Department of Justice. The other, which Lindsey made reference to and which frustrates the daylights out of me, is when you are telling a witness like Hope Hicks that you can't talk about the questions we ask you on House Intel, and while her interview is going on, while it's going on, the Democrats are coordinating with the media, selecting certain portions of her testimony, and then leaking it.

It's not a criminal issue. It's a moral issue. It's really important. It destroys trust. It's part of why Congress is broken.

BARTIROMO: Right.

GOWDY: But it's not something that you would go to jail for.

BARTIROMO: Yes, but I'm talking about leaking by Jim Comey classified information to his friends. I'm talking about Adam Schiff leaking classified information to The New York Times and The Washington Post.

GOWDY: Well, it needs to be investigated. Congress does not investigate crime.

We control the Department of Justice. President Trump picked the A.G., picked the deputy A.G., picked the third in command. Leaking is moral. Disseminating classified information is a crime. It should be investigated by the FBI.

But Congress doesn't investigate, prosecute, sentence for criminal activity.

BARTIROMO: Do you think we're going to see accountability in all of this? You have been investigating the investigators now for a year-and-a-half. We know that there was obviously misconduct done by a handful of people at the top of the FBI and the DOJ.

Andrew McCabe already been referred for criminal activity. Tell us where you see this going.

GOWDY: I think there's already been some accountability. I think there's more to come.

I think, of the 10 people who were most intricately involved in the Russia probe, 80 percent of them are no longer with the department or with the bureau. You mentioned Andy McCabe. Comey is gone. Brennan is gone. Lisa Page is gone. Jim Baker is gone. Rybicki is gone.

A lot -- there has been some accountability. I think there'd be more if the Democrats spent more time working with their Republican colleagues and less time coordinating media leaks. But that's been my great frustration.

The Department of Justice belongs to all of us. You would think Republicans and Democrats alike wouldn't like biased FBI agents.

BARTIROMO: Right.

GOWDY: Who would have thought it took Peter Strzok to get the Democrats to find a law enforcement officer they actually liked?

Who would have thought that? All the times they are critical of law enforcement, and they go out of their way to defend one of the most biased agents I have seen in my time in public service.

But that's where we are in politics, and one reason I can't wait to be gone.

BARTIROMO: Just extraordinary.

Congressman, thank you very much. Thanks for your service as well. We appreciate your time this morning.

GOWDY: Yes, ma'am. Thank you.

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