Former Rep. Trey Gowdy has been tapped to aid Trump's legal team, despite being critical of the president in the past
- Former Rep. Trey Gowdy will be joining President Donald Trump's legal team as outside counsel amid the House impeachment inquiry, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.
- Gowdy will not formally join the White House staff but will help formulate Trump's defense strategy against impeachment.
- The White House announced Tuesday that that Trump administration will not cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.
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Former Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina will reportedly be assisting President Donald Trump's legal team while the House impeachment inquiry heats up.
Gowdy will not formally join the White House staff but will work as outside counsel to help formulate Trump's impeachment strategy, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The House of Representatives has been investigating Trump's conduct during a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump pressed the foreign leader to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of Trump's most prominent political rivals.
So far, House Democrats have subpoenaed and sought testimony from a number of senior administration officials and Trump associates. But on Tuesday, the White House announced that Trump "cannot permit his administration" to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry.
As Bloomberg News noted, Gowdy has previously spoken out against withholding information from congressional investigations.
"The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong," Gowdy said in 2012, according to Voice of America. "Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
Gowdy has also previously criticized the Trump administration, most prominently defending the Mueller investigation and shooting down a conspiracy theory favored by the president that Democrats embedded a spy in the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
Gowdy's remarks garnered scorn from a number of Trump allies, including lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who called him "uninformed." It appears Gowdy will soon be working alongside Giuliani to help defend Trump from impeachment.
Gowdy came to national attention for spearheading a House investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attacks on a US consulate building in Libya, and the role former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton played. Gowdy would later call his investigative efforts an "utter unmitigated failure."
The investigation lasted two years, culminated in a marathon 11-hour testimony from Clinton, failed to prove criminality or wrongdoing, and was widely viewed as an effort to smear Clinton amid her presidential campaign.
Gowdy served as a congressman for eight years before declining to run for re-election in 2018.