by WorldTribune Staff, June 24, 2019
When it was advising the 2016 presidential campaigns on how to deal with the threat posed by foreign actors, the FBI gave preferential treatment to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said.
Gowdy, during a June 23 interview on Fox News, cited documents he has viewed in asserting that the campaigns of both Clinton and then-candidate Donald Trump received counterintelligence “defensive” briefings, but claimed they were not the same.
Gregory Brower, assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs, wrote Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowan Republican, in October 2017 to confirm “an experienced FBI counterintelligence agent” provided a defensive briefing to Trump in August 2016 “focused on the broad range of threats posed by foreign intelligence entities.” The letter said “[s]imilar briefings” were also provided to Clinton and the two vice presidential candidates prior to the November election, and that campaign staff additionally were briefed.
Gowdy, however, said the FBI provided “two different kinds of defensive briefings to candidates depending on who you like and who you don’t,” and coupled with how the FBI withheld transcript material from the FISA court, “then your bias begins to impact the investigation.”
Trump’s briefing was coordinated by FBI agent Peter Strzok, who had indicated in emails with FBI lawyer and lover Lisa Page that he was virulently anti-Trump. According to Rep. John Ratcliffe, Texas Republican, the briefing made no mention of the counterintelligence investigation into members of the Trump team that Strzok had opened less than three weeks prior.
Gowdy, who during his tenure in the House was chairman of the Oversight Committee, has spoken out about classified information he claims “has the potential to be a game changer.”
Last month, Gowdy discussed unreleased transcripts of recorded conversations between FBI informants and former Trump campaign associate George Papadopoulos. Gowdy said “one in particular has the potential to actually persuade people” and noted this “exculpatory evidence related to Papadopoulos was not included in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.”
In his interview with Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, Gowdy called for the transcript to be released so the American public can view them. Gowdy said the documents were persuasive enough for him to change his mind after initially being “supportive” of the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
“You want to think of law enforcement as being unbiased and disinterested in the outcome as long as we just find the facts. But when you have information that someone you think has done something wrong has, in fact, not done something wrong, when you have exculpatory information and you don’t share it with others and then you put that together with Strzok and Page and the defensive briefings, remember, Maria, the defense of [former FBI Director James] Comey and the media and the Democrats has always been, yeah, some of the FBI was biased against Trump, and it didn’t really matter. This really matters,” Gowdy said.