If you’re Donald Trump and your hyperpartisan stunts have gone so comically off the rails that you’ve even lost Mr. Hyperpartisan Trey Gowdy, you’ve got a problem. We saw that earlier this week when, just before Gowdy’s cohort Devin Nunes released his idiot memo, Gowdy announced he would quit Congress at the end of the term. When you’ve taken things so far that Gowdy is coming out against you, now you’ve got a whole different kind of problem.
In broad terms, we all know why Gowdy quit. Nunes was trying to drag him into an obstruction of justice hole, and Gowdy wasn’t stupid enough to follow him. Quitting Congress seems extreme, considering that Gowdy is in the kind of ultra-red district where, despite the nationwide Democratic Party Blue Wave, he’d have been the favorite if he did run for reelection. This suggests there’s more to it, and it points us back to Gowdy’s role on the Trump transition team, which reportedly knew all about Michael Flynn’s illegal plot with the Russian Ambassador. What did Gowdy know? What did he do?
So it’s a safe bet that Gowdy decided to fold up his political career because he’s somehow caught up in the Trump-Russia scandal, and he feared the obstructive memo could get him in even bigger trouble than whatever he’s already facing. Remarkably, Gowdy isn’t going quietly. Some have suggested that he’s hoping Trump will appoint him to the recently vacated judge position in his native South Carolina. But if so, Gowdy would need to remain on Trump’s good side. Instead he’s doing the opposite.
Trey Gowdy hit the Sunday morning talk show circuit and specifically came out against Donald Trump’s position on the Nunes memo. Then Gowdy began gushing about Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Gowdy isn’t trying to get Trump to appoint him to anything. Instead he’s making a panicked attempt at distancing himself from the memo stunt, and aligning himself with Mueller. At this point it’s clear that Gowdy is betting against Trump surviving this.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report