Trey Gowdy, Who Led an 11-Hour Clinton Hearing, Now Laments Congressional Hearings As ‘Useless’

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina, spoke candidly about his opposition to Congressional hearings in the wake of the Michael Cohen testimony that occurred last week.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Chip Somodevilla / Staff

Gowdy, who appeared on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” lamented that such hearings served no purpose to the interests of the public. “What we learned this past week is how utterly useless public congressional hearings are,” the former Congressman said, according to reporting from the Daily Beast.

Gowdy did concede that behind the scenes testimonies did yield much better results.

“The closed-door hearings are constructive. You get an hour to ask questions as opposed to five minutes,” Gowdy said.

Co-host Steve Doocy had to comment on Gowdy’s observation. “Are you suggesting that Congress is less interested into getting to the bottom of it, and more interested in making Donald Trump look bad over the next two years until election day?” Doocy suggested.

Gowdy responded by asking the Fox News host to name another way in which we try to find objective facts through such a means.

“What serious finder of fact can you name that identifies information in five-minute increments and does it on television and flips from one side to the other?” Gowdy asked rhetorically. “Grand jury doesn’t do it. Your local sheriff doesn’t do it. The United States attorney doesn’t do it.”

To some, it may seem hypocritical for Gowdy to criticize the process, especially given the fact that he employed it so frequently himself. For two years, Gowdy served as chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, including one instance where he oversaw an 11-hour public testimony session featuring Hillary Clinton, according to reporting from NPR.

Many saw the Clinton Benghazi hearing as an attempt to vilify the former Secretary of State before she began in earnest a run for the presidency in 2016, CNN reported.

When questioned by Fox’s Doocy over the fact that he too used public Congressional hearings to further his own ends, Gowdy relented that he did — to his own detriment. “I was an utter unmitigated failure,” Gowdy said.

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