Former Spartanburg solicitor and current U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy is all set to take over as the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. A steering committee selected Gowdy to led the Oversight Committee formerly headed by Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz.
The next step: House Republicans will vote to give Gowdy a thumbs up or thumbs down. But given the respect that Gowdy has among his Republican colleagues, he’s all but guaranteed approval.
As chair of the House Oversight Committee, Gowdy will lead the investigation into whether or not former Trump administration National Security Advisor Michael Flynn broke any laws.
At issue are charges that Flynn violated the Emoluments Clause, which prevents a members of the U.S. government from receiving payment from foreign governments. Flynn failed to state he had been paid by the Russian government-backed news agency RT to speak. The amount he reportedly pocketed: $45,000.
Gowdy’s committee is not investigating the Trump administration’s alleged ties to Russia. The House Intelligence Committee is looking into that, as is the Senate Intelligence Committee, the body before which recently ousted FBI director James Comey testified before today.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, meanwhile, is also investigating Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, which America’s intelligence community agrees happened. In addition, Mueller will look at charges that Trump administration officials coordinated with Russia and other matters related to this investigation, like Comey’s accusations that Trump urged him to drop the Flynn investigation.
Although Democrats have blasted Gowdy for his perceived hyper-partisan leadership of the Benghazi Committee, the Spartanburg representative has been both a Trump supporter and a critic, although he has more often favored the president’s actions than opposed.
Gowdy has previously supported Trump’s travel ban, but argued it needed more clarity, dismissed calls that Obama had wiretapped Trump as the president tweeted, and criticized Comey for not doing more to investigate White House leaks.
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), Gowdy’s Capitol co-pilot, released a statement congratulating the follically challenged Spartanburg congressman:
“Congratulations to my friend Trey Gowdy as he rises to Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Congressional oversight is a key component of ensuring our government works for the people; no one works harder and is more committed to the truth and the rule of law than Trey. I know he will continue to serve the people of South Carolina and the United States well in this new role. Now, if we could only get to the bottom of his hair, we will truly be getting somewhere.”