Unreleased transcripts from secretly recorded conversations between FBI informants and ex-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos could be game-changing if the public were ever allowed to see them, according to former Rep. Trey Gowdy.
The Republican made the explosive claim during an appearance on Fox News' “Sunday Morning Futures,” suggesting it is likely the FBI would have transcripts of discussions between informants and Papadopoulos.
“If the bureau’s going to send in an informant in, the informant’s going to be wired, and if the bureau is monitoring telephone calls, there’s going to be a transcript of that,” he said.
Gowdy, without getting into specifics, seemed to acknowledge he's at least aware of those files -- suggesting they contain exculpatory information with regard to Papadopoulos (who served a brief sentence for false statements in connection with the Robert Mueller probe).
“Some of us have been fortunate enough to know whether or not those transcripts exist. But they haven’t been made public, and I think one, in particular ... has the potential to actually persuade people," he said. “Very little in this Russia probe I’m afraid is going to persuade people who hate Trump or love Trump. But there is some information in these transcripts that has the potential to be a game-changer if it’s ever made public.”
Gowdy continued, backing concerns raised by Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, about the origins of the Russia probe.
'There is some information in these transcripts that has the potential to be a game-changer if it’s ever made public.'
“John Ratcliffe is rightfully exercised over the obligations the government has to tell the whole truth to a court when you are speaking permission to spy or do surveillance on an American,” Gowdy said, in apparent reference to allegations that information was withheld from the surveillance court when the FBI sought to monitor another Trump aide.
“Part of that includes the responsibility of providing exculpatory information or information that tends to show the person did not do something wrong.”
He added, “If you have exculpatory information and you don't share it with the court, that ain't good.”
In the same interview, the former congressman took aim at the unverified anti-Trump dossier authored by Christopher Steele.
"I mean, let's just call it for what it is. It's a series of rank hearsay compilations put together by an FBI source who was later defrocked. Paid for by the Democrat National Committee, then, oh by the way, Christopher Steele hated Donald Trump too so that we can call it a dossier. It sounds official," Gowdy said.
"It's really something the National Enquirer would blush if they printed so we know that it was used four times by the United States government."
Attorney General William Barr told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer in an interview aired Friday that one portion of the internal DOJ review into the Russia probe's orgins, which he has tapped U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead, would cover the time period between Election Day and Inauguration Day, saying “some very strange developments” took place during that time.
Barr specifically was referring to the early January 2017 briefing intelligence officials gave then-president-elect Trump at Trump Tower, and “the leaking of information subsequent to that meeting.” At that meeting, Trump was briefed by intelligence and law enforcement officials on Russian election meddling -- and was also informed by former FBI Director James Comey about the anti-Trump dossier which included salacious allegations against him. Details which were later leaked to the press.
Gowdy, a former House Oversight Committee chairman and House Judiciary Committee member, accused Obama-era intelligence officials Sunday of not being upfront when it comes to the dossier's use.
"What we're trying to figure out is whether or not it was used a fifth time and the intelligence assessment and you got [John] Brennan, [James] Clapper and Comey, all three who know full well whether or not it was used in the intelligence assessment but ... they're giving you different versions," Gowdy said.
"So there is information that exists in December of 2016 and I hope anyone who has access to it ... go look at that. And I think it will help you understand whether or not that dossier, that unverified hearsay, was used... five times or just four times by the United States government is pretty bad."
Fox News' Victor Garcia and Brooke Singman contributed to this report.