- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The former Republican head of the Benghazi-probe committee ridiculed Susan Rice on another matter Wednesday — her email to herself as she was leaving the White House on the day of President Trump’s inauguration.

In an appearance on Fox News Channel, former Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, also an ex-prosecutor, was asked about Ms. Rice’s email and called it a classic cover-up, a self-vindication intended to be found.

“It’s the most bizarre thing I’ve read. It is: ‘Dear diary, Obama is perfect, and Jim Comey says he’s done everything by the book.’ Well, I’d like to know what book he’s following,” Mr. Gowdy said.

Mr. Gowdy called the email bizarre on other fronts, noting that it referred to meeting weeks earlier and so isn’t the kind of contemporaneous notes that people in government often make.

“It’s two weeks late, so it can’t be present-tense recall,” he said incredulously.

“Obama is perfect” was a slight paraphrase of the email, which was initially classified and parts of it still are. What she wrote was:

“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book’. The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book,” she wrote to herself.

Mr. Gowdy also went after the FBI in the segment, during which Fox’s Ed Henry played a clip from Sen. Marco Rubio.

The Florida Republican noted that not only was incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn unmasked as having conversed with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s then-ambassador to the U.S., but that these facts were leaked to the press — a crime.

Mr. Gowdy wanted to know what the FBI was doing to investigate that leak of classified information — a crime that carries up to 10 years’ imprisonment.

“My question for the FBI is: I know the lengths you went to interview Michael Flynn. That’s well documented. How is your leak investigation going? It’s been almost four years. … We know Flynn was the victim of a crime. We ain’t sure he committed one, but we know he was the victim of one,” Mr. Gowdy said.

He also warned about the declining public confidence in the FBI that the Obama administration’s conduct is creating.

“If you want these surveillance programs to go away, keep turning a blind eye towards leaks,” he warned.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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