Fox News contributor Trey Gowdy told “Sunday Morning Futures” that he assumes there will be no additional indictments arising from U.S. Attorney John Durham's review of the investigation into links between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty last month in federal court to making a false statement in the first criminal case arising from Durham’s probe, but Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor and chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said not to assume that more indictments are on the way.
That doesn't mean, however, that those in high positions at the FBI and Department of Justice will not face political punishment, he said.
The former South Carolina congressman made the comments after host Maria Bartiromo noted that “there is concern that John Durham is dragging his feet.”
She also asked Gowdy to weigh in on the fact that John Brennan was interviewed last month by Durham as part of the review of any misconduct related to the origins of the Russia probe, but the former CIA director was assured he’s not a target in the investigation, according to a Brennan spokesman.
“Walk us through being a target versus a witness and what John Brennan is saying now,” Bartiromo asked of Gowdy.
“My experience as a prosecutor is your status can change in an instant,” he said in response. “You can move from being a witness to a subject to a target so I understand that Brennan’s PR machine wants us all to believe that he’s not a target.”
“That status can change,” Gowdy stressed. “You’re one document or one false statement away from going from one to the other.”
“With respect to Durham, my expectation is that he is going to access documents that [Calif. Republican Rep.] Devin [Nunes], [Texas Republican Rep. John] Ratcliffe and I never got to see,” he continued. “He’s going to access documents that the FBI never shared with Congress and he’ll write the definitive accounting of what happened.”
He then said, “Whether or not there’ll be more indictments or not, I don’t know and I like to assume that there will not be.”
Gowdy acknowledged that "that puts me in a small minority, but I’m assuming that the Clinesmith indictment will be the only one."
The inspector general accused Clinesmith, though not by name, of altering an email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to say that he was “not a source” for another government agency.
Page has said he was a source for the CIA.
The Justice Department relied on Clinesmith’s assertion as it submitted a third and final renewal application in 2017 to eavesdrop on Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
During the plea hearing, Boasberg asked Clinesmith to affirm that he "intentionally altered an email, and added language" that "individual number one" was "not a source...and you knew that statement was in fact not true."
Clinesmith replied, "At the time I thought the information I was providing was accurate, but I am agreeing the information I inserted was not originally there, and I inserted the information."
Boasberg went on to ask: "You intentionally altered the email to insert information that was not originally in the email?"
"Yes, your honor," replied Clinesmith.
“I would liken it to Secretary Clinton,” Gowdy said on Sunday. “She was not indicted, but when the jury in November of 2016 met, they did mete out punishment, they did mete out accountability.”
"So regardless of whether Brennan, or [former FBI Director James] Comey, or [former FBI agent Peter] Strzok or Page or [former top FBI lawyer James] Baker or anyone else suffers a criminal consequence, the jury has a chance in November of 2020 to weigh in and say, 'You know what, you didn’t meet our expectations for law enforcement. We’re going to mete out the punishment, whether or not there’s an indictment or not,'" Gowdy continued.
On Sunday, Bartiromo noted that Gowdy “was one of only two GOP congressmen along with John Ratcliffe who saw all of the redacted documents in both the Trump-Russia investigation as well as the Hillary Clinton investigation, that email probe which the FBI was conducting simultaneously.”
She also pointed out that the results of Durham’s criminal probe have not yet been released.
The FBI heavily relied on former British spy Christopher Steele's now-discredited dossier to obtain a surveillance warrant to spy on Page, in which FBI officials asserted that Page was an "agent" of Russia.
However, the FBI did not share the information about the Russian disinformation campaign with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) when it moved to obtain the warrant, just as it did not tell the court that another Trump aide had denied collusion during a recorded conversation with an FBI informant.
Bartiromo pointed to a 2017 interview conducted by Gowdy where Brennan “said he didn’t use the dossier at all.”
She then asked Gowdy, “What’s your take on the arrangement of the CIA and the FBI and who is culpable here for using this piece of information, which we know was just hearsay, made up in a bar, as evidence or reason to get a warrant to wiretap Carter Page and the Trump campaign?”
“We certainly know the FBI is culpable,” Gowdy said in response. “You don’t have to take my word for it, I mean [Justice Department Inspector General] Michael Horowitz is not a rock-ribbed Republican, he was nominated by Barack Obama and unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate so he’s hardly a partisan, he dinged the FBI, the FISA court dinged the FBI, the Senate Intelligence Committee dinged the FBI, I mean everyone who’s looked at the FBI’s conduct in the fall of 2016 says they didn’t even meet the most basic of expectations.”
“I like to pivot back to the fall of 2015 or earlier in 2016, who was driving the engine? Who was driving the train then?” he went on to ask. “I’m hoping Durham can tell us how this whole narrative … that somehow the Trump campaign was complicit or conspiring with them [the Russians], where did that start? What is the evidentiary basis of it? And I think Durham — I’m not going to prejudge what he’s going to find — I think it will be a mixture of the CIA and the FBI.”
Fox News Alex Pappas, Brooke Singman, Gregg Re and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.