The White House announced on Tuesday that it will not comply with requests for information from the three House committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The news came shortly after Trump instructed European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying before the committees and continues a pattern of resistance to oversight long established by the White House even before the impeachment inquiry began.
Joining the President's outside counsel will be former Republican South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy. Gowdy will likely have to defend the White House's decision to withhold information from Congress, but one of the best counterarguments to that decision has already been made...by Gowdy himself.
In 2012—after the Obama Administration invoked Executive Privilege on documents requested by the House Select Committee on Benghazi—Gowdy railed against what he claimed was a lack of respect for the rule of law.
"The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress. whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
In a world ruled by integrity, Gowdy would be calling out the Trump administration for defying virtually all subpoenas issued by Congress in the past year. Instead, he's acting in the White House's defense.
Gowdy isn't the only Republican whose approach to oversight and impeachment has done a 180 degree turn.
While defending the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, then-Representative Lindsey Graham (R-SC) compared Clinton to former President Richard Nixon while decrying the withholding of information from Congress.
Now, as Senator, Graham is demanding Republicans pledge an oath of loyalty to Trump in the face of an impeachment he says will "destroy the country."
Sadly, people aren't surprised that defenders of a President who's told over 12,000 lies since taking the Oath of Office are turning out to be turncoats.
When Gowdy oversaw the Select Committee on Benghazi, the Obama Administration complied with subpoenas and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours.