Politics & Government

Trey Gowdy breaks with GOP on Russia investigation

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, has broken with his Republican colleagues in the U.S. House over their conclusions in an investigation into President Donald Trump's campaign ties to Russia.

Gowdy released a statement Tuesday after Republicans on the House intelligence committee said they had ended the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

While House Republicans accepted the intelligence community's claims of Russian interference, they dismissed the idea that Russia's intent was to elect Trump president.

But Gowdy, who also is on the intelligence committee, said Tuesday it was "clear, based on the evidence, Russia had disdain for Secretary Clinton and was motivated in whole or in part by a desire to harm her candidacy or undermine her presidency had she prevailed."

Politico quoted a source close to Gowdy as explaining "there's no difference between opposing Clinton and backing Trump in what had become, effectively, a two-person race." The source added Gowdy "disagrees with the conclusion" that the intelligence agencies got it wrong.

The former Spartanburg prosecutor did agree with his colleagues' conclusion that they had found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

Gowdy previously criticized a memo written by committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., that criticized the FBI's investigation of Russian ties to Trump campaign figures as politically motivated. Gowdy said that memo shouldn't have "any impact on the Russia probe."

A key player in House investigations of both Trump and Hillary Clinton, Gowdy is not seeking re-election this year.

The end of the House investigation doesn't effect the probe of special counsel Robert Mueller, which is ongoing.