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CNN Guest: Trey Gowdy 'Situational Ethics' Will Bring 'Hackish Defense'

John Avlon and the CNN Newsroom riff on Gowdy's hypocrisy given his performance during the Benghazi hearings. They openly laugh at the Republican trying to defend him.

Former Congressman Trey Gowdy appears to be joining Team Trump's Legal Defense. He's been quietly practicing law in good ole boy South Carolina since his days of the Sad Trey Gowdy pic died down, but we're going to be hearing a lot more from him, apparently.


Poppy Harlow recalled how he told CNN that he was stepping down from Congress because "facts matter and facts are important." They ran that moment from the Benghazi hearings when he sent everyone scurrying to the dictionary to look up the word "vicissitude."

GOWDY: The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether are you 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.

Then Harlow asked CNN Political Analyst John Avlon what Gowdy could possibly say when those words about respecting the rule of law will inevitably be thrown in his face? Avlon summed it up nicely.

AVLON: He will say that was then, this is now, we were investigating Hillary Clinton. Look, I would love for Trey Gowdy to be consistent on this. I would love to see any philosophical consistency in Congress rather than just pure situational ethics. But, you know, the problem is, that he didn't need to shout it and we don't expect it. Because everyone is sort of knee deep in hypocrisy on this stuff. The problem is, this is the Constitution at stake. This is not Benghazi-type hearings, this is really serious stuff.

Then the Republican strategist on the panel, Margaret Hoover came in with the incomprehensible (yet predictable) defense of Gowdy that we should give him a chance, as he is no longer in Congress, and why would what he said as a Congressman possibly reflect what he thinks as a private lawyer? For perspective, in the same breath, Hoover argued that Trump has a 7% (SEVEN!) approval rating in South Carolina, and that he's doing very well there! So, take her capacity for logic and critical thinking for what it's worth. 1


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When Hoover asks Avlon, "Don't you think the president is entitled to a fair defense?" he once again gives her the answer she deserves.

AVLON: Of course he's entitled to a fair defense. He's going to get a lot of it. The problem is it's a hackish defense that doesn't represent any continuity between what they said then, and what they said now, as we've seen from also fellow South Carolinan Lindsey Graham between the '98 Clinton impeachment and now.

They happened to have that tape handy, so they rolled video of the younger Sen. Graham ranting about the importance of answering subpoenas and complying with Congress. Jim Sciutto shook his head in disbelief and said basically that he doesn't know how these people look themselves in the mirror. "If you are a lawyer making an argument the president does not have to hand over these documents or witnesses, and you've made a legal argument seven years ago to the opposite..." he said, wondering how they explain their legal and political gymnastics. Hoover, again, pleaded for everyone to just give Gowdy a chance, because we haven't yet seen how GOOD he can be!

Then John Avlon lowered the boom.

AVLON: We all know if Trey Gowdy is indeed being hired to work on the court of opinion, the way Rudy Giuliani has done in many cases in the past, I think it would be the triumph of hope over experience to think we will get a more honest accounting, and that he will shift the strategy fundamentally from stonewalling.

Oh, yes. We allllll know the Republican party is just known for its abundance of HOPE and HONESTY. Wake up, honey. Gowdy was hired to do exactly what he did to Hillary Clinton during the fake and abusive investigation into Benghazi. Lie, yell, and destroy.

1 It's possible she meant 70. But she said "7" twice.

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