Gowdy, former chairman of the House Oversight Committee, offered an explanation as to why people might be hesitant to share sensitive information with certain members of Congress — namely, California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff.
“I warned people weeks ago that if Adam Schiff continued to be the chairperson of the House Intelligence Committee, who’s one of the most deeply partisan members of the House, eventually people would stop sharing information with the Intelligence Committee, and apparently that’s what’s happened,” Gowdy said.
“If [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi wants this information given to Congress, she should pick a less-partisan person to be the chairperson of that committee,” he said.
The information to which Gowdy is referring is the contents of a whistleblower complaint within the intelligence community.
The complaint was filed through the proper channels when an administration employee seemed to believe that Trump made a troubling “promise” to an unnamed world leader.
Although the president does have broad authority when it comes to declassifying information, the employee felt it was necessary to lodge the accusation.
Trump has vehemently denied doing anything wrong.
….Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially “heavily populated” call. I would only do what is right anyway, and only do good for the USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2019
He has also questioned the motives of the whistleblower, describing him or her as “highly partisan.”
The complaint currently rests with the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, who is refusing to disclose the contents to Schiff and, by extension, Congress.
Schiff has not taken this well and has vowed to investigate the complaint come “hell or high water,” according to CNN.
“This involves something more sinister, something involving a serious or flagrant abuse or violation of law or misappropriation, and the IG underscored the seriousness of this, and also that this need to be looked into,” the congressman said.
Gowdy continued to outline exactly why the Democrat is dealing with such resistance.
“When you put someone who is wrong as often as Adam Schiff is wrong, and is as deeply partisan as he is, in charge of the Intelligence Committee, then no, you’re not going to share confidential information because Adam leaks like a sieve,” he said.
Gowdy later declined to opine on the facts of the case while urging Americans to show similar restraint and calling out selective outrage.
“I think we got to get to the point in our political culture where we don’t speculate. There’s a transcript, we don’t have to wonder what was said,” he said. “I think what does frustrate people is I seem to recall a president who said, ‘I’ll have more flexibility in my second term.’
“We don’t have to wonder about that, that’s on tape. I don’t think there was a similar level of outrage when President [Barack] Obama promised that to the Russian president as there is now, and we don’t have any idea what President Trump said.”