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Gowdy: House investigating Porter scandal

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) says the House Oversight Committee has opened an investigation into the Trump administration's employment of Rob Porter.

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 9:18 AM
Updated: Feb 16, 2018 9:37 AM

The House Oversight Committee is investigating the White House's handling of Rob Porter's employment, chairman Trey Gowdy told CNN Wednesday.

"We are directing inquiries to people that we think have access to information we don't have. You can call it official. You can call it unofficial. Those words don't mean anything to me. What means something to me is I'm going to direct questions to the FBI that I expect them to answer," Gowdy, R-South Carolina, told CNN "New Day" co-anchor Alisyn Camerota.

He added that he was "troubled by almost every aspect" of Porter's employment at the White House.

"How do you have any job if you have credible allegations of domestic abuse? Again, I am biased toward the victim," Gowdy said.

Porter resigned last week from his role as staff secretary amid domestic abuse allegations, which he denies.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified Tuesday on Capitol Hill that the FBI briefed the White House multiple times on its investigation into Porter last year, contradicting the White House's accounting of when it learned of the allegations against the former staff secretary and the status of the FBI's background check investigation to determine whether Porter could be granted a permanent security clearance.

CNN reported that some senior aides -- including chief of staff John Kelly and White House counsel Don McGahn -- were aware of both the allegations against Porter before they became public and of his troubles obtaining a security clearance. Two of Porter's ex-wives had detailed the allegations to the FBI during a routine background check into Porter.

"I would want to know from Don McGahn and General Kelly and anyone else: What did you know, from whom did you hear it, to what extent did you hear it and then what actions, if any, did you take? The chronology is not favorable from the White House," Gowdy said.

Gowdy sent a formal letter to Wray later Wednesday requesting further details, including what "derogatory information" was made available to the White House on Porter, when and to whom, by the end of the month.

North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Walker, a prominent House conservative, praised Gowdy's move.

"Any man who abuses a woman or exhibits abusive behavior should not be in public service," Walker, who also sits on the House Oversight Committee, said in a statement Wednesday.

"Having spent years in ministry and offering counseling to survivors, such abuse must be confronted -- not protected by friends or people in power," Walker continued. "I am proud of my good friend Trey Gowdy as he leads the effort to get answers."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 590211

Reported Deaths: 9310
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion815581297
Lake44306666
Allen31919541
Hamilton28371304
St. Joseph26766371
Elkhart24098341
Vanderburgh18643213
Tippecanoe17422121
Johnson14496284
Porter14399160
Hendricks13870241
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Monroe9076108
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Noble460557
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 826754

Reported Deaths: 10200
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin97493705
Cuyahoga821781012
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Montgomery41700399
Summit33399726
Lucas30111597
Butler29721228
Stark24811400
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Licking12679132
Trumbull12401302
Fairfield1218480
Greene11631133
Medina11128165
Clark10608264
Wood9964154
Allen9511126
Portage8867105
Miami886573
Richland8790116
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Tuscarawas7142174
Columbiana7085124
Pickaway702850
Wayne6781164
Muskingum671242
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Hancock537890
Ross530287
Scioto519662
Geauga483555
Darke457589
Ashtabula439068
Lawrence432651
Union430628
Mercer424287
Sandusky421862
Seneca413555
Auglaize412759
Huron410338
Shelby410221
Jefferson403366
Belmont395640
Washington372040
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Athens36369
Madison339329
Knox336522
Ashland331738
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Harrison8568
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Vinton67113
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