Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) urged President Donald Trump and his lawyer on Sunday to stop flailing at special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and to let the probe continue unimpeded.
"When you are innocent … act like it," Gowdy said on “Fox News Sunday“ when asked about Trump's repeated Twitter attacks on Mueller, whose probe has become increasingly perilous to the president and his inner circle. "If you’ve done nothing wrong, you should want the investigation to be as fulsome and thorough as possible."
Gowdy's comments came a day after Trump's attorney John Dowd called for Mueller's investigation to be shut down. Gowdy issued the same exhortation to Dowd: "If you have an innocent client, Mr. Dowd, act like it.”
Trump himself spent the weekend lobbing repeated Twitter attacks at Mueller's investigation over the weekend, including on Sunday, when he labeled Mueller's team of prosecutors "hardened Democrats."
"The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime," Trump tweeted Saturday evening, naming Mueller in a tweet for the first time.
It's unclear why Trump, who until this weekend largely spared Mueller's probe from attacks, reversed course. But the decision follows the news that Mueller has subpoenaed the Trump Organization for records, a line Trump has previously suggested could be too far.
Gowdy's comments were notable coming from a senior GOP lawmaker who has been deeply involved in the House Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The committee's Republicans concluded last week that they found no evidence Trump or his allies aided the Russian effort, but Gowdy emphasized that their finding was limited because they were unable to interview central witnesses tied up in the Mueller probe. Those witnesses — former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and others — have either pleaded guilty or face indictment. Another House witness, former White House aide Steve Bannon, declined to answer many of the committee's questions, Gowdy noted.
"You don’t know what you don’t know," he said, adding, "Within the universe of folks that we’ve interviewed, there is no collusion" between Trump associates and Russia.
Gowdy also said he's going to "withhold judgment" on whether the Justice Department's decision to fire former deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe two days before his scheduled retirement was the appropriate punishment for allegations that McCabe lied to investigators.
Though McCabe has blamed Trump and his allies for tarring his reputation and orchestrating his ouster, Gowdy argued that "McCabe has tarnished his credibility all by himself." Gowdy noted that it was independent investigators and a Justice Department review board that determined McCabe deserved to be fired for "lack of candor."
But he said he wants to see the full report of McCabe's conduct before passing judgment on the punishment.
"The FBI is who recommended that he be fired," Gowdy said. “It wasn’t crazy House Republicans, and it wasn’t the Trump administration. It was his own fellow agents."