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Gowdy on Memo: Russia Probe Valid With or Without It

Sen. Dick Durbin, meanwhile, says memo could 'precipitate a constitutional crisis'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2018 11:00 AM CST

(Newser) The memo released Friday by the House Intelligence Committee that alleges FBI and DOJ overreach has dominated the news cycle this week, and Sunday morning's news shows kept it top of mind, per the Hill. Some takes from both sides of the aisle:

  • GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy, who revealed this week he won't run for re-election, showed up on CBS' Face the Nation to stress that the memo doesn't undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. "Not to me, it doesn't, and I was pretty integrally involved in the drafting of it," Gowdy said, per CBS News, which notes Gowdy is the only Republican on the HIC who's actually read the FISA warrant applications the memo cites. "I'm actually in a really small group … of Republicans that think that this FISA process is suspect and wrong and should not have taken place. But you still have a Russia investigation even without it." He added he doesn't think Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein should be fired based on what was said in the memo and that "I am on record as saying I support Bob Mueller 100%." He also commented on his own departure from Congress: "My wife hates it when I say this, but I was a pretty good prosecutor, I think. But I've been a pretty lousy politician."
Read on for more from Dick Durbin and Reince Priebus.

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  • Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin offered his take on the memo on CNN's State of the Union. "To say that that's the end of the investigation, that this is all that Donald Trump needs to fire [Rosenstein] or to fire [Mueller], I'll just tell you, this could precipitate a constitutional crisis," he said. Per PoliticusUSA.com, when host Jake Tapper asked what Democrats would do if Trump is found to have broken the law, Durbin said he didn't want to speculate on a "hypothetical," but added, "We understand what the constitution says we must do, and that is hold everyone in the United States, including the president … accountable if they have violated the law. No one, including the president, is above the law."
  • Over on NBC's Meet the Press, former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus gave his first official interview since leaving his post, and he spoke on reports that President Trump had moved to fire Mueller last June. "Of all the things that we went through in the West Wing, I never felt that the president was going to fire the special counsel," Priebus said. "I would know the difference between a level-10 situation as reported in that story and what was reality, and to me that wasn't reality." Priebus noted he never felt there was "some kind of collusion or some kind of obstruction situation going on" at the White House. He also spoke on the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians, saying that he'd "always heard" from "members of the family" that Donald Trump Jr. and others involved in the meeting believed it was "truly about … issues of Russian adoption."
(Read more Sunday morning talk shows stories.)

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