Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who is known for his attacks on Hillary Clinton, threw cold water over the weekend on the memo published by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).
Gowdy explained that the memo did not “vindicate” President Donald Trump in the Russia investigation — far from it.
“It doesn’t — and I was pretty integrally involved in the drafting of it,” Gowdy admitted. “There is a Russia investigation without a dossier. So to the extent the memo deals with the dossier and the FISA process, the dossier has nothing to do with the meeting at Trump Tower. The dossier has nothing to do with an email sent by Cambridge Analytica. The dossier really has nothing to do with George Papadopoulos’ meeting in Great Britain. It also doesn’t have anything to do with obstruction of justice. So there’s going to be a Russia probe, even without a dossier.”
“Have we reached such a degraded state that when a Republican tells the truth it’s a story?” CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin half-joked.
Host Alisyn Camerota didn’t want to say that it was necessarily a partisan concern, but Toobin cut in to say that it was absolutely a Republican problem, because they’ve been standing by Trump regardless of what has been found.
“Finally, yesterday, it was so excessive, what Trump said was so ridiculous that ‘this memo invalidates the Russia investigation and discredits the FBI’ that we saw some push-back from House members,” Toobin said. “I mean, all they’re doing is telling the truth.”
Daily Beast editor John Avlon argued that it was a huge story because Gowdy threw the GOP talking points out the window and admitted it wasn’t an accurate conclusion of the warrants obtained and the investigation.
Playing clips of Trump and campaign surrogates denying he knew Carter Page, Toobin noted it’s almost as if the release of the Nunes memo and the attack on the FBI and Justice Department was “just a pretext and bogus and not based on any reality that it’s purported to be.”
He went on to say “the president has succeeded here,” in that he created an “atmosphere of controversy,” which has prompted many Americans not paying attention to dismiss Robert Mueller and the investigation.
“When you have the megaphone of the White House, when you have the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, you can create a controversy where none exists and that’s what has been done here,” Toobin said.
Avlon agreed saying they’ve clearly muddied the waters intentionally.
Watch the full discussion below:
Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.
In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.
“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”
Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial
Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.
The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.
"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"
Florida Republican Matt Gaetz admits Trump’s legal defense was ‘like an 8th grade book report’ — only worse
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) admitted that President Donald Trump's team of lawyers weren't quite the legal eagles that he thinks they might be, said Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio.
Questioned about his take on the way the case is unfolding in the Senate, Gaetz said that the House presented it like it was going to be on "cable news." For many that may be an insult, but it appears to Gaetz that was a compliment.
Desiderio said that Gaetz then lamented that the White House presented their case more like “an 8th-grade book report.”