Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Gowdy in talks to join Trump's impeachment defense team


By Brett Samuels
10/08/19
07:52 PM EDT



Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is in talks to join President Trump's legal team as the president mounts a defense against an impeachment inquiry from House Democrats.

"We are in discussion with Trey about joining our team," Trump attorney Jay Sekulow said, adding that no final decisions have been made.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Reports first surfaced late Tuesday afternoon that Gowdy was in talks to join the president's impeachment defense team. Conflicting reports later emerged about whether he had formally agreed to take on an outside role or if discussions were ongoing.

Gowdy, a former prosecutor who retired from Congress after his term ended in January, would bring an extensive knowledge of both the legal system and the inner workings of House proceedings.

He served as the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and led the House Select Committee on Benghazi, where he grilled former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Obama administration officials over their roles and knowledge of the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in the eastern Libyan city.

The White House on Tuesday evening escalated the fight with House Democrats over their impeachment inquiry.

White House counsel Pat Cipollone sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and three committee leaders stating that the administration would not cooperate with any of their requests related to the impeachment inquiry.

The White House decried the inquiry as an "invalid" effort to "overturn the results of the 2016 election" and asserted that the lack of a formal vote to launch an impeachment inquiry broke with past precedent and violated the executive branch's rights.

Pelosi announced late last month that the House would formally launch an impeachment inquiry into Trump, alleging he abused his office by urging the Ukrainian president to “look into” Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Democratic committee leaders have in recent days issued subpoenas demanding records from the White House, Vice President Pence, the Office of Management and Budget, the Pentagon, and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as part of the investigation.
 

 

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