House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) appeared on Special Report and reacted to the inspector general's report on James Comey released Thursday. Gowdy called it a "dark day" for the FBI and DOJ after it confirmed the "level of bias and animus" in agent Peter Strzok. The Congressman said Strzok wanted to get in on the Mueller probe because he wanted to impeach President Trump.
"The winner is Michael Horowitz, because he proves that you can be fair, fact-centric and conduct a series of investigation," Gowdy said. "The loser is every one of my fellow citizens who wants an FBI and a Department of Justice that they can believe in. All of us have all lost when we have a department and a bureau that we cannot have confidence in. "
House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte also gave his take on the IG's report into the Clinton email investigation.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Let's get reaction now from the chairmen of two major House committees looking into all of this. Trey Gowdy is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Bob Goodlatte chairs the House Judiciary Committee.
Gentlemen, thanks for being here.
Chairman Gowdy, first to you. Just of broad overview, what strikes you about this report? What hits you when you look at the 568 pages?
REP. TREY GOWDY (R-SC), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE: Just what a dark day it is for the FBI and the DOJ, two institutions of our country desperately needs and we desperately have to be able to have confidence in them. And this level of bias and animus, not only did they want to stop the Trump campaign, he wanted to stop the Trump presidency. This is an FBI --
BAIER: You’re talking about Peter Strzok.
GOWDY: Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who was on Hillary Clinton's investigation and arguably the lead Russia investigator not only wanted to stop his campaign, but once he wanted, got on the Mueller probe because he wanted to impeach him. That is a level of animus and bias that everyone should reject.
And, Chris Wray, I’m sorry, you’re wrong. Chris, there are consequences. The consequences are that your fellow citizens question whether or not they can have confidence in the world's premier law enforcement agency and that's coming from someone who has defended them a lot throughout his career. This was a bitterly disappointing report...
I mean, Peter Strzok said that the vote should be 100 million to zero. He can't think of a single solitary American that should vote for Donald Trump to be president. He said he’ll stop it as a candidate. He talked about impeachment once he won.
Actually, Director Comey unwittingly just prove the point of the question you asked him on follow-up. Would you have kept him on investigation had you known what you know now? And he said no. OK, why not?
Because bias is that insidious, that is that pervasive. It colors your ability to do what we need the FBI to do, which is to be fair and fact-centric. So, of course, you’re going to fire him the day you learn.
In my head, I go back. When did you start working on the case? That's when you should have been fired.
So, whatever he did on either of these investigations, Bret, it has to be viewed through the prism that he can't think of a single solitary person that should vote for this man to be president.
BAIER: So, Strzok's attorney says this was taken out of context. It didn’t affect his decisions. Some people say, what happens in the context of those texts, did they know something about the Russia information, and that's what they are referring to? Do you think that this changes at all in context, or in a vacuum, it’s just damning?
GOWDY: It changes a lot going forward, because I don’t know how my fellow citizens are going to be able to have confidence -- I mean, Russia did something to our country in 2016. It was serious, it deserved to be investigated and it deserved to be investigated by a fair FBI agent who was not talking about impeaching the person that he was investigating.
His lawyer is just wrong, that by a state impact something. He was so hyper-focused on Trump that he ignored at the Weiner-Abedin emails and it caused Jim Comey to have to send a letter a month later than he should have sent it.
The other point, Bret, is this: why is it our job to prove that Strzok's is biased in his decision-making? I got a better idea, Strzok, you come before Congress, you come before the American public and prove to us that your manifest animus towards Donald Trump did not affect your decision...
BAIER: Chairman Gowdy, the last time you talked about the FBI inner workings, it was about this allegation of spygate and all of that. You said at the time, that you thought that the president and others thought the FBI was doing what he was supposed to be doing. In the context of this, and you are animated about what you’re learning out of this I.G. report.
Does it change your perspective of how this is all progress even when it comes to the Russia investigation?
GOWDY: Bret, I’m animated because Russia tried to undermine the fundamentals of our democracy in 2016. And I think anyone who heard what any law enforcement agency heard in summer of 2016, every one of my fellow citizens would say, you go find out whether that’s true or not. You go find out whether or not a foreign, hostile country is going to mess with our election.
What my fellow citizens also expect is for the agent that does the follow-up to be free of taint and bias, like 99 percent of the FBI agents are. It just so happens that the one picked to follow up and lead the Russian investigation has manifest animus and can think of a single person to vote for Donald Trump. So, those two are inextricably intertwined.
Most of my fellow citizens would say, yes, I want to know what Russia was doing to us in 2016, but also want the person that’s finding out, is investigating it to be free of bias and free of taint.
BAIER: And they would say, Mueller, fire that guy.
GOWDY: And he did fire him. And God only knows what damage he was done before Mueller fired him. This is what's so pervasive about bias, Bret, it doesn't matter what Mueller comes up with. Some people are going to believe that Strzok's level of animus was so high that you can’t remove the taint. That’s why bias is so destructive in a justice system.