Rep. Trey Gowdy says he doesn't see anything wrong with how Robert Mueller handled the suspicion that President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen might be breaking a law.
"We know that it requires the highest levels of DOJ permission to seize attorney/client records. And by that I mean the attorney general or the deputy attorney general. And we also know it must have nothing to do with Bob Mueller's probe, either directly or indirectly, or he would not have referred it," Gowdy said.
CHRIS WALLACE: Congressman, let's start with the FBI raid on the home, the hotel, and the offices of President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen, which raises obvious questions about possible violation of attorney/client privilege.
As a former federal prosecutor, are you convinced that this raid was appropriate or at least on its face not inappropriate?
REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, here's what we know. We know a neutral detached federal magistrate had to sign off on the search warrant. We know that it requires the highest levels of DOJ permission to seize attorney/client records. And by that I mean the attorney general or the deputy attorney general. And we also know it must have nothing to do with Bob Mueller's probe, either directly or indirectly, or he would not have referred it.
What we don't know is what the basis of the probable cause was, what was searched and what was seized. But -- so -- so we know a little bit. We don't know a little bit. I think the most important thing we know is that a neutral detached federal judge, that has nothing to do with politics, signed off on this warrant.
WALLACE: I -- I want to pick up on -- on one of your points, which is that you -- you noted that Special Counsel Robert Mueller referred this to prosecutors in Manhattan.
And here was the president's furious reaction to that and it led to this exchange.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Why don't I just fire Mueller?
Well, I think it's a disgrace what's going on. We'll see what happens. But I think it's really a sad situation when you look at what happened. And many people have said, you should fire him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Question, do you still think -- we talked several weeks ago -- do you still think it would be wrong, it would be a serious mistake to fire Mueller? And given the growing calls to fire the deputy attorney general, do you feel the same way about firing Rod Rosenstein?
GOWDY: Well, let me take Mueller first. I don't know what Mueller was supposed to do other than what he did. When a prosecutor comes in contact with information or evidence of a crime, what are you supposed to do, other than to refer it to the appropriate jurisdiction?
Now, if Mueller had kept something tangential or unrelated for himself, then I'd say, fine, you can criticize him. But he came in contact with potential criminality -- potential criminality. He referred it to the U.S. attorney's office of jurisdiction. And he did so with the permission of Rod Rosenstein. I don't know what else he could do.
As for Rod Rosenstein, I -- I don't see a basis for firing him in his handling of this probe. Now, he's the one who drafted that original jurisdiction for Mueller. So if you think it's too broad, you've got to direct your criticism towards Rosenstein and not to Mueller. If you're upset with Rosenstein because he's slow walking document production to Congress, take that up with him. But -- but how this is Mueller's fault just defies logic to me, Chris.