SC Rep. Trey Gowdy tapped for House oversight chairman

Gowdy, 52, a former federal prosecutor from SC, was among those considered by President Donald Trump to lead the FBI after the firing of former Director James Comey.

The Steering Committee's recommendation is set to be ratified next week by the full House Republican Conference; Gowdy would assume the chairmanship afterward.

S.C. Republicans were quick to praise Gowdy's selection.

In a separate statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said "Trey Gowdy possesses the experience and deep commitment to transparency and accountability necessary to be the House's next Oversight chairman".

Gowdy, a federal former prosecutor, is perhaps best known for heading the special committee formed to investigate 2012 events at the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya.

In a statement, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the committee's ranking member, said, "I offer my sincerest congratulations to Rep. Gowdy on his new role".

Gowdy would replace outgoing Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah), who will resign at the end of June.

Chaffetz also sought copies of former FBI Director James Comey's memos about his interactions with Trump, but the agency has yet to turn over the documents to the committee.

Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor and state solicitor from Spartanburg, is used to navigating controversial and politically dicey waters.

GOP lawmakers trust Gowdy, "and he's going to do a fantastic job", Graves said. Many still harbor resentment against Gowdy, which could carry over into his tenure as chairman of the oversight committee. Tim Scott, who has tried repeatedly to get Gowdy nominated for a judgeship, said of his best friend in Congress. "The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has jurisdiction in a variety of areas as outlined in the Rules of the House for the 115th Congress". The former FBI director on Thursday answered questions at a Senate hearing about whether the president sought to quash part of a federal probe into Russian meddling into the 2016 election. Trey is toughminded but evenhanded, and will be fair but firm with wayward government employees.

For a brief time, Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford of Mount Pleasant was considering a bid for the chairmanship, asserting his seniority on the panel over Gowdy and others. He has loyally served this country first in the U.S. Army, and now in his current capacity representing the people of Oklahoma.

  • Larry Hoffman