The revelation that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC paid millions of dollars for research that led to a dossier containing salacious allegations against President Donald Trump shows that the campaign was guilty of laundering money, according to Rep. Trey Gowdy.
Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, was interviewed by Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
Wallace noted that “in the FEC filings, it simply says $12 million to Perkins Coie, the law firm, for legal work” with no mention that the money was funding research into the dossier that made claims of misconduct against Trump.
“As I understand it, that willful misrepresentation of campaign expenditures is a criminal offense,” Wallace said.
Gowdy responded that the Clinton campaign clearly violated the spirit, if not also the letter, of the law.
“Well, I’m not an election law expert, Chris, but the good news is you don’t have to be to understand the absurdity of believing that you can launder all of your campaign money by just hiring a law firm,” the South Carolina Republican said.
Gowdy claimed the Clinton campaign violated the principle of transparency.
“I mean, imagine if you and I were running for Congress and we just hired a law firm and said, hey, you go to all the oppo, you go buy all the television, you go buy all the bumper stickers, you go hire all the experts, and we’re going to launder all of this through a law firm. I can’t think of anything that defeats the purpose of transparency laws more than that,” he said.
Gowdy also said he also finds it curious that no one recalls who paid out the money.
“I am also interested in sharing some memory tricks with folks at the DNC because no one can remember who paid $10 million to a law firm to do oppo research. I find that stunning. $10 million and no one can remember who authorized it, who approved it, who said, ‘This is a really good idea?’”
Gowdy said both issues require investigation.
“So, you’ve got two issues, a memory issue, and then the lack of transparency by laundering money through a law firm,” he said.
In addition to knowing who paid for the dossier, Gowdy wants to know how it was used.
“I am much more interested in whether or not the Department of Justice and the FBI relied upon that dossier and initiating a counterintelligence investigation or in court findings. That is really important to me,” he said.
Gowdy noted that it is one thing for the DNC to try to push a slanted perspective, but another if that was done by the Department of Justice.
“I don’t expect the DNC to be objective. Almost by definition, opposition research is not objective. I do expect an entity represented by a blindfolded woman to be objective. And if they relied on that dossier and they didn’t corroborate it or vet it, then we have a serious issue and that’s the next thing that House Intel is trying to find out, is whether or not the U.S. government relied on it,” he said.
Gowdy voiced frustration that the Department of Justice has been uncooperative.
“(I)t’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between the Obama Department of Justice and the current Department of Justice in terms of transparency and their willingness to share information with Congress. This is a really simple request. Did you rely on the dossier?” he asked.
“And if so, did you vet it before you relied upon it? You can answer that in 30 seconds. But it’s taken three months for the Department of Justice, and only recently have they agreed to give us the information.”
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