There is a fascinating conversation underway in political circles as to whether or not the FBI spied on Donald Trump’s campaign and what, if anything, it actually means.
On one side, led by Donald Trump, you have the claim that it is absolutely, verifiably true that the Department of Justice allowed this extremely wrong and bad thing to happen, and that this unprecedented maneuver is further proof that the entire intelligence community is out to get the President.
On another side, you have people who say that there was no such spying and that, frankly, Trump’s choices of campaign staff was pretty much an open invitation to be investigated because they were shady people.
There is another, less talked about side (like me!) who believes that this was an unprecedented action by the FBI and a dangerous precedent to set, but that it is not inherently wrong to have done so. The fact of the matter is that you had some shady people who have participated in shady practices with foreign nations in the past working for a presidential campaign and transition team.
However, among certain conservative circles, the ultimate sin is to disagree with Donald Trump because in doing so (in their minds) you are effectively siding with the Democrats and therefore are a threat to the Republican Party, the conservative movement, and to the country.
Enter Trey Gowdy.
Gowdy publicly stated after a meeting at the White House that, based on what he’s seen, there is no proof the FBI embedded a “spy” in the Trump campaign for political reasons.
Gowdy insisted that the FBI did not, in fact, plant a spy in the Trump camp for political purposes. Rather, he said, the FBI appropriately deployed an informant to glean intelligence from members on the outer edge of Trump’s campaign. The FBI had received troubling evidence that those individuals had suspect ties to Russia, and the bureau had been obligated to pursue those legitimate leads, Gowdy said. The briefing, for only a select group of nine senior lawmakers of both parties, only bolstered his position, he said.
“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got — and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump,” Gowdy said in the interview.
That little excerpt comes from a Politico piece wonderfully titled “Trump Allies Gang Up On Gowdy”, and the piece explains what happens when you commit the aforementioned sin of disagreeing with Trump.
Trump allies have been pummeling Gowdy in recent days, branding him a gullible or clueless backer of the intelligence community. Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, labeled him “uninformed.” Another Trump-tied attorney, Victoria Toensing, said Gowdy “doesn’t know diddly-squat” about the particulars of federal investigations. And Fox News host Lou Dobbs tagged him a “RINO” — a term for a fake Republican.
The comments soon earned him punishing rebukes from Trump’s most vocal allies. Fox’s Sean Hannity said Wednesday that “Trey Gowdy doesn’t get it.” Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, father of White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, distributed a 950-word treatise Friday questioning Gowdy’s position. And Dobbs said Gowdy appeared to be auditioning for a job after he leaves Congress.
This is what happens. You break with the party line, the cult will come after you. Gowdy does have the benefit of not having to worry about re-election – he’s already stated he’s retiring – but he will have to deal with the frothing masses upset at him for daring to break from the President over anything.
Gowdy is a solidly Republican legislator who has been an aggressive interrogator from his seat, investigating everything from the Fast and Furious scandal to the Benghazi terror attack and any other scandal the Republicans have wanted to look into. He’s been a relentless prosecutor in search of truth for years. However, he has slipped up and suddenly that history doesn’t matter.
It’s not like Gowdy is Jeff Flake, either. Flake has decided to win the hearts of the media and Democrats by quitting the Senate and establishing himself as a Voice Of Reason Against Donald Trump, sacrificing his integrity in the process.
Gowdy isn’t setting up an anti-Trump persona. He is and has always been a man who has worked for justice and truth, and based on the evidence he has seen, he has determined that the spy in the Trump campaign wasn’t put there for political purposes. That doesn’t make him a RINO. That makes him reasonable.