Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) on Thursday castigated the Department of Justice for its handling of the Russia investigation, telling FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to present the findings soon because the probe is “tearing” the country apart.
Wray and Rosenstein were on Capitol Hill testifying at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, where Gowdy gave an impassioned speech blasting the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s campaign in that effort.
“Russia attacked this country. They should be the target, but Russia isn’t being hurt by this investigation right now,” Gowdy said. “This country is being hurt by it. We are being divided.”
Gowdy went on to demand that the Department of Justice unveil its findings, saying that the investigation’s drawn-out process is damaging the country.
“We need to see the evidence. If you have evidence of wrongdoing by any member of the Trump campaign, present it to the damn grand jury,” he told Wray and Rosenstein. “If you have evidence that this president acted inappropriately, present it to the American people. There’s an old saying that justice delayed is justice denied. I think right now all of us are being denied. Whatever you got, finish it the hell up, because this country is being torn apart.”
Gowdy spent several minutes of his questioning time lambasting FBI agent Peter Strzok, who led the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s election interference as well as the probe into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
A Department of Justice inspector general report released earlier this month showed that Strzok sent text messages during the investigations expressing opposition to Trump’s candidacy. In one message to FBI attorney Lisa Page in August 2016, Strzok said “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming president and called Trump’s supporters “retarded.”
“When a foreign state interferes with our democratic electoral process, it should be the chance of a lifetime for a law-enforcement agent to investigate that, except, apparently, the one that was actually picked to investigate it,” Gowdy said, referring to Strzok.
“At about the exact same time [Strzok] was picked to lead [the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference], this dispassionate and fair FBI agent was calling Trump a disaster, destabilizing for the country,” Gowdy added with sarcasm. “I’ll leave out all the ‘F’ adjectives he used to describe that. I’ll just go with disaster and destabilizing.”
Gowdy also discussed Rosenstein’s appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 to lead the Russia probe.
“At precisely the same time Bob Mueller was appointed, Peter Strzok was talking about his unfinished business and how he needed to fix and finish it so Donald Trump did not become president,” Gowdy said.
“[Strzok] was talking about impeachment within three days of special counsel Mueller being appointed,” the congressman continued. “That’s even quicker than MSNBC and the Democrats were talking about impeaching him!”