At a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein how he can explain to his constituents the apparent conflict of interest it looks like Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has over personal bias against President Donald Trump. Fox News has revealed copies of text messages containing politically charged language against the president from FBI agents Peter Strzok, Andrew Weissmann and Bruce Ohr.
Gowdy listed shocking reports of bias, demanding to know “what the hell is going on” with the FBI.
“The reason we have Special Counsel is because of conflicts of interest,” Gowdy said. “We don’t like conflicts of interest because it undermines people’s confidence in both the process and the result. And lo and behold! Those that are supposed to make sure there are no conflicts of interest seem to have a bit of their own.”
“The notion that three bureau agents would be conspiring or plotting on how to handle the outcome of the presidential election is the opposite of what you want in an objective, dispassionate, neutral FBI,” Gowdy said.
“What happens when those who were sent to cure the conflict of interest had even greater conflicts of interest than those they replace? That’s not a rhetorical question. You nor I nor anyone else, would ever sit Peter Strzok on a jury… knowing what we know now. Why didn’t we know it ahead of time?” Gowdy asked.
Rosenstein, an Obama appointee, responds that the investigators will take action to make sure all “improper conduct” is exposed. “We exposed this issue to ensure that the inspector general conducts a thorough and effective investigation. If there is any evidence of impropriety he is going to surface it, and we will report about it publicly.
REP. TREY GOWDY: There are a lot of issues I’d like to ask you about, Mr. Deputy Attorney General. We had the terrorist incident in New York this week. We have 702 reauthorization that is pending in Congress. Gun violence. The opioid epidemic. Criminal justice reform. But when I go home to South Carolina this weekend, trust me when I tell you that no one is going to ask me about any of those issues. They’re going to ask me what in the hell is going on with the Department of Justice and the FBI.
The reason we have special counsel is because of a conflict of interest. The regulation itself specifically makes reference to conflict of interest. We don’t like conflicts of interest because it undermines people’s confidence in both the process and the result. So let’s be really clear why we have a special counsel. There was either a real or preceived conflict of interest that would either impact the result or people’s confidence in the process…
And then, lo and behold, those that are supposed to make sure there are no conflicts of interest seem to have a bit of their own.
There is a senior prosecutor who sent obsequious emails to a fact witness, [Attorney General Sally Yates]… She’s a really important fact witness if you pursue the line of inquiry that my Democrat friends want to pursue. They got off of collusion and now they are on to obstruction of justice…
And then we have a prosecutor assigned to this conflict of interest-free team that attended what he hoped to be a victory party for Sec. Clinton. We have a senior DOJ official [recently demoted associate deputy AG Bruce Ohr], with an office that used to be two doors down from yours, meeting with Fusion GPS… who was paying for Russian dirt on the very person they’re supposed to be objectively investigating.
And then that same senior DOJ official that met with Fusion GPS, his wife was on the payroll of Fusion GPS.