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.
Troy Gowdy 2012 pic.twitter.com/4Ja5Ojx8Cs
— Malcolm Willoughby (@MalcWilloughby) October 9, 2019
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.
Here is @LindseyGrahamSC talking about impeachment in 1998:
"You're becoming the judge and jury. It is not your job to tell us what we need. It is your job to comply with the things we need to provide oversight over you…” pic.twitter.com/bo62dvyvZc
— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel) October 9, 2019
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.
Republicans always bring up the “rule of law” when it benefits them, and ignore it when it doesn’t.
— Jellybean (@JBeanResistance) October 9, 2019
It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds. Doc Holliday
— K Haw (@6onthegoalline) October 9, 2019
I think I see another case of selective amnesia that’s going to set in.
— KtCakes (@KtCakes66) October 9, 2019
They only refer to justice when it serves them. They need to change the party name to the party of Trump
— Becky (@seckybuazo) October 9, 2019
What shocks me the most is how unembarrassed they are to be so hypocritical now. How do they reasonably justify their double standards?? Their characters must be very flawed.
— Woodswoman (@MadamZolar) October 9, 2019
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.