GOP Congressman Defends DOJ Surveillance: ‘They Are Doing What We Asked Them To Do’
In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren last night, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) threw cold water on hopes that the Justice Department’s surveillance of Associated Press reporters’ phone records could lead to legislation preventing similar incidents in the future. Gowdy noted that the surveillance occurred in no small part because Republicans demanded such an investigation in 2012:
GOWDY: Greta, you were an attorney. There are lots of privileges — husband-wife, priest-penitent, attorney-client, none of them unqualified. So when you have a major national security leak, which is a compelling issue, and you juxtapose that with the right of the media to do its job and provide oversight, there’s a conflict. And there’s no federal statute on point. But the Supreme Court has said if there is a compelling interest, which there certainly is in national security cases, and the information is relevant which it has to be to justify a subpoena, and you have no alternative means of getting the information, then the Department of Justice had no choice… .
Think back a year ago. We had the attorney general and other Department of Justice employees, and we grilled them over national security leaks. And here they are doing what we asked them to do, investigate the leak.