As part of the ongoing investigation into the origins of the now-debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative, former Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy has urged the FBI to be transparent and release to the public transcripts of several conversations that would shed light, both good and bad, on the bureau’s decision to spy on then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.
Gowdy reiterated that call on Sunday during an appearance on Fox News, specifically with regard to a transcript involving former Trump campaign associate George Papadopoulos that Gowdy was convinced was an example of “textbook exculpatory information.”
The Daily Caller reported that Gowdy’s remarks came during a conversation with Fox host Maria Bartiromo and were in reference to alleged transcripts — previously alluded to by Gowdy and other Republican lawmakers — possessed by the FBI which documented the conversations between FBI informants or cooperating witnesses and members of the Trump campaign.
In particular was the alleged transcript of a conversation in September 2016 between Papadopoulos and Cambridge professor Stefan Halper that was referenced by Bartiromo, but Gowdy noted, “The one you referenced is a single transcript. There are going to be others.”
Gowdy, as the former chair of the House Oversight Committee, has strongly implied in the past that he and others have seen that particular transcript, and while Bartiromo admitted that she understood he could neither confirm nor deny the specific contents of the classified document at this point in time, she nevertheless shared a personal conversation she recently had with Papadopoulos and asked Gowdy for his take on what she had learned.
Gowdy: “Fundamental precept” at stake
Bartiromo noted that Gowdy had previously called that particular transcript a “game-changer” and asked why it hadn’t been declassified and publicly released yet. Gowdy replied, “It certainly has the potential to be. Why you haven’t seen it yet, I am lost, I am clueless. It is not that level of classification that’s going to impact relations with our allies.”
“It goes to a fundamental precept in this country, where there is exculpatory information and information tending to show a person did not commit a crime, that that information is every bit as important as any inculpatory,” he continued.
Gowdy submitted that the release of the transcript would not only “buttress that fundamental precept” but would also answer countless questions posed by the media and American people about how and why the investigation into the Trump campaign first began.
Watch the entire discussion below:
“The FBI and the DOJ said it was never intended to investigate the Trump campaign, just Russia,” Gowdy said. “Okay, great. Show us the transcripts. Show us what questions you coached the informants or the cooperating witnesses to ask of the Trump campaign officials.”
“If it’s not about the campaign then you win, you’re right. But if you’re veering over into the campaign, or if your questions are not solely about Russia, then you’ve been misleading us for two years,” he added.
Bartiromo shared some details of a recent conversation with Papadopoulos in which he asserted that he had rejected Halper’s overtures to accept help from Russia, and Gowdy — without confirming or denying the veracity of that claim — replied, “What you just described is textbook exculpatory information. It tends to show that a person did not commit a crime,” and therefore should have been turned over to the court or released to the public the same as any other information that might imply guilt.