Former Republican congressman and the Javert of Benghazi Trey Gowdy has now decided that public congressional hearings are not a great vehicle for getting to the truth of a situation. What timing!
Gowdy appeared on Fox & Friends on Monday morning to evaluate former Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s appearance last week in front of the House Oversight Committee. The general consensus among observers seems to be that Cohen came off as credible, and that his testimony was terrible for Donald Trump. So, naturally, Gowdy is no longer a fan of public hearings:
“It think what we learned this past week how utterly useless public congressional hearings are. And this notion that you can unlock important information in five-minute increments. I think two closed-door sessions past week on the Senate and House side with the intelligence committees were very helpful.”
It is unclear how he would know that the closed-door sessions were helpful when he was not in them.
Gowdy famously dragged Hillary Clinton in front of his House Select Committee on Benghazi in 2015 for an 11-hour interrogation about the 2012 attack on the American consulate in that Libyan city that left four Americans dead while she was Secretary of State.. Clinton kept her cool for the entire time, and the whole stunt was widely regarded as a failure for the GOP and a victory that showcased her leadership skills and coolness under attacks from Republicans right as she was in the middle of running for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The entire purpose of the Benghazi hearing was to give Republican congressmen a chance to spend time on national television grandstanding while they tried to pin blame for the attack on Clinton, a conclusion that multiple congressional inquiries determined was unwarranted. Kevin McCarthy, currently the House Minority Leader for the Republicans, admitted that making Clinton look bad was the entire point of the Benghazi investigation, as opposed to getting at the truth.
Gowdy seemed to acknowledge the truth of McCarthy’s statement on Monday. Asked by Steve Doocy if he was saying that the Congress is more interested in making Trump look bad for the next two years instead of getting to the truth of the president’s multiple scandals, Gowdy said:
“Let me ask you this, what serious finder of fact can you name that identifies information in five-minute increments and does it on television and flips from one side to the other? Grand jury doesn’t do it. Your local sheriff doesn’t do the United States attorney doesn’t do it.”
Pressed on the fact that he tried to do it on Benghazi, Gowdy at least has the self-awareness to admit it was an unmitigated disaster. But that’s only true if you think the attack happened because of Clinton’s negligence, or you were trying to make her look bad in front of a national televison audience and instead did a painful face-plant yourself.
In other words, public hearings are only bad to Trey Gowdy when they work against Republicans.
Watch the video at the top of the post, via Fox News.