UPDATE, Wednesday: According to a Fox News spokesperson, Trey Gowdy has been terminated and is no longer a contributor.
Attorney and former U.S. Representative Trey Gowdy, a Republican from South Carolina widely known for his explosive sparring on Capitol Hill, is one name the White House has reached out to as it fights House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. But it didn’t look like Gowdy was interested — or was he?
Social media erupted with tweets on Tuesday afternoon into the evening as it was claimed that Gowdy declined to represent the president.
NEW: Trey Gowdy has declined to represent President Trump after the White House began a search for outside counsel during the House impeachment inquiry.
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) October 8, 2019
The reactions to this effect were numerous and everywhere.
Sending hopes and prayers to anyone who got rejected by Trey Gowdy today.
— Sean Casten (@SeanCasten) October 8, 2019
Trey Gowdy won't work for the President.
Let that sink in.
— Nicholas Sarwark (@nsarwark) October 8, 2019
When Trey Gowdy won’t jump in the hot tub slime machine you know it’s bad.
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) October 8, 2019
Due to the hysteria such claims caused, Law&Crime reached out to Gowdy via email for comment, and for confirmation about whether or not he was going to represent the president. He could not be reached by phone, and we still have not heard back by email.
Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg is now reporting that, actually, Gowdy said “yes” to helping with impeachment strategy, and will work from outside the White House. To be clear, Gowdy is not “formally joining the White House staff,” per Bloomberg:
Donald Trump has enlisted former Representative Trey Gowdy to work with the White House team combating the U.S. House’s impeachment inquiry into the president, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Gowdy, a former prosecutor from South Carolina, is not formally joining the White House staff, according to the people.
CNN is reporting something similar, namely that Gowdy on Tuesday met with Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s acting chief of staff, and “accepted an offer to serve as outside counsel to President Trump.”
After meeting with Mick Mulvaney at the White House today, former South Carolina congressman Trey Gowdy has accepted an offer to serve as outside counsel to President Trump, sources tell @PamelaBrownCNN and me.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 8, 2019
Still more have confirmed that Gowdy is, indeed, joining Team Trump.
Confirmed, per a senior White House official, who says Trump has blessed the move. Trey Gowdy is on the Trump team. https://t.co/yjhaK8LsOF
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) October 8, 2019
It seems safe to say, at this point, that the social media blitz of Tuesday Oct. 8, 2019, has been thoroughly debunked.
We will update this space if there is something more to say.
It should be noted that Gowdy, in a Fox News contributor role, has been criticizing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) of late, which could only have boosted him as an outside counsel candidate in the president’s eyes.
According to CNN’s Pamela Brown, Gowdy is one outside lawyer the White House has contacted for impeachment counsel:
The White House has reached out to outside lawyers for impeachment counsel, according to a person familiar.
One of the lawyers they reached out to is Trey Gowdy, a former congressman and an ex-federal prosecutor. He now regularly appears on Fox News.
Just days ago, Gowdy pointed out on Fox News that the Washington Post fact checker gave Schiff four Pinocchios for the “false claim his committee had not spoken to the whistleblower.”
“I think he got four only because you can’t get five,” Gowdy quipped. “I mean, he got the maximum sentence you could get from the Washington Post fact checker and don’t you know how hard that was for the Washington Post to give Adam Schiff four Pinocchios?”
The feud between President Trump and Schiff is well-documented and ongoing.
After the White House released a memo of the Trump-Volodymyr Zelensky July 25 phone call, Schiff “ma[d]e up dialogue for dramatic effect,” as ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos put it. The president was not pleased with Schiff’s “parody” and falsely accused the Democratic representative of committing a treasonous act.
Gowdy also commented on the Schiff “parody” controversy.
“The same guy that had the parody a week or so ago, the same guy that says he has evidence that even [former Special Counsel Robert] Mueller couldn’t find,” Gowdy said. “The question I had is, How long is Speaker Pelosi going to put up with Adam mishandling this investigation?”
All of this is to say that Gowdy, who has a track record of criticizing a primary enemy of the president on the president’s preferred cable news network, makes perfect sense as an outside counsel addition.
Editor’s note: this story was updated to note that there are now reports countering the claim that Gowdy declined to represent the president. CNN and Bloomberg both report that Gowdy will serve as outside counsel to the president.
[Image via Alex Wong/Getty Images]