Gowdy Warns Leaks in Closed Hearing Could Cause ‘Chilling Effect’ That Would Stifle Witness Testimony

Thursday on CNN’s “Outfront,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, expressed his displeasure over leaks from a closed hearing earlier in the day of testimony from Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Reports from that hearing claim President Donald Trump had asked intelligence official to refute claims that Trump colluded with the Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Gowdy explained to host Erin Burnett that he and ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) had vowed to Coats no selective leaks would occur. However, that turned out not to be the case, as Gowdy pointed out.

“What I found out, Erin, is about eight hours ago, Adam Schiff and I looked Dan Coats in the eyes, and we assured him that there would be no selective leaking of his testimony to us,” Gowdy said. “And I’ll be damned if eight hours later, there aren’t three different leaks with what he told us. So if anyone is questioning why congressional investigations aren’t taken seriously and are viewed as political exercises, you need to look no further than the fact that we looked one of our intelligence officials in the eyes and promised him there would be no selective leaking. And here I am being asked about it not even eight hours later.”

Gowdy warned these types of leaks could hurt future congressional investigations.

“I can’t tell you who it is, but I can tell you this: You’re going to have a chilling effect on other witnesses who want to share classified, sensitive information when it makes its way to the headlines before the transcript’s even dry,” he added.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor



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