Former Rep. Trey Gowdy blasted FBI officials who investigated retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn following the disclosure of documents in the government’s case against President Trump’s former national security adviser.
Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, appeared in an interview Thursday night andsaid law enforcement officials engaged in a “gotcha investigation” by failing to follow proper procedure when they interviewed him about his conversation with a Russian envoy.
“They had no evidence that Michael Flynn was an agent of a foreign government,” Gowdy told Fox News anchor Shannon Bream. “They opened the investigation in the summer of 2016. They’ve got zero evidence.”
“Here’s what the FBI agent should’ve done: Gen. Flynn, whether you remember saying it or not, here’s the transcript, here’s a recording of the call you had with the ambassador,” Gowdy said. “Maybe this will refresh your recollection. Who told you to call the Russian ambassador? Who told you to do what you did? That’s how you would run a true counterintelligence investigation.”
The Washington Examiner reported that on Thursday, unsealed documents showed that former agent Peter Strzok blocked the FBI from closing its investigation into Flynn in early January 2017 after the agency found no “derogatory information.” It was later that month that Flynn spoke to Russian diplomat Sergey Kislyak about sanctions on Russia and a United Nations resolution on Israel, after which he pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about those conversations.
Gowdy characterized the actions of James Comey (who was the FBI director at the time of the Flynn interview) as reckless in reference to Comey’s public admission that he took advantage of the chaos in the early days of Trump’s administration when he sent Strzok and another FBI agent to talk to Flynn.
“This is not the way law enforcement officers proceed,” Gowdy said. “It’s not the department of ‘let’s see if we can get away with it.’ Remember, Jim Comey told that giggling gaggle of liberals at that little interview he had, ‘I did it because I could get away with it.'”