Q: Did Rep. Trey Gowdy end the Russia investigation?
A: No. That claim was made in a headline that wasn’t supported by its story.
The headline of a July 12 story on world-politicus.com says “Trey Gowdy Puts Investigation To Rest.” It was posted on Facebook with an even more provocative header: “Trey Gowdy Ends The Russia Investigation ONCE AND FOR ALL – Do You Support Him?”
But the story — which was flagged by Facebook users as potentially fake — doesn’t support either headline.
While the story correctly says the South Carolina Republican is the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, it incorrectly says that “Gowdy has been in charge of … the Russia investigation.” He hasn’t ended it, either.
Gowdy, who only became oversight committee chairman on June 13, has said that his panel won’t investigate possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russian government during the 2016 campaign and it won’t investigate whether Trump committed obstruction of justice. He said he does not want to interfere with the ongoing Russia investigation led by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
“I told Bob Mueller Tuesday that I would never do anything wittingly or unwittingly that veered over into his lane,” Gowdy told a group of reporters on June 23. “His lane is broad and is undetermined at this point.”
However, Gowdy is also a member the House Intelligence Committee, which is still investigating Russia’s meddling in the election, as well as potential ties between Russian officials and Trump associates.
World Politicus credited its story about Gowdy to the Washington Examiner, which did not report that he ended the Russia investigation.
Instead, the Examiner wrote that “Gowdy criticized the Trump administration for the ongoing ‘drip, drip’ of Russia-related revelations that escalated this week when the president’s son admitted he met with a Kremlin-linked attorney who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.”
The Examiner quoted Gowdy as saying: “Someone close to the president needs to get everyone connected with that campaign in a room and say, ‘From the time you saw Dr. Zhivago until the moment you drank vodka with a guy named Boris, you list every single one of those and we’re going to turn them over to the special counsel,’ because this drip, drip, drip is undermining the credibility of this administration.”
We’ve written before that it is important to read beyond a provocative headline, especially when a story sounds unbelievable. The story headlined “Trey Gowdy Ends The Russia Investigation ONCE AND FOR ALL” is an example. It has no facts to back it up.
“Trey Gowdy Puts Investigation To Rest.” World-politicus.com. 12 Jul 2017.
Foran, Clare. “Trey Gowdy Tapped to Take Over as House Oversight Chair.” The Atlantic. 8 Jun 2017.
Rahman, Rema. “Gowdy Officially Becomes House Oversight Chairman.” Roll Call. 13 Jun 2017.
Daly, Matthew. “Gowdy: Oversight Won’t Investigate Russian Interference.” U.S. News and World Report. 23 Jun 2017.
Wong, Scott. “Gowdy won’t use Oversight gavel to probe Russia.” The Hill. 23 Jun 2017.
Siegal, Josh. “Trey Gowdy: ‘Drip, drip drip’ on Russia is undermining Trump administration.” Washington Examiner. 11 Jul 2017.
Kim, Kyle, and Krishnakumar, Priya. “A guide to every Russia investigation happening right now.” Los Angeles Times. 14 Jun 2017, accessed 25 Jul 2017.
Kiely, Eugene, and Robertson, Lori. “How to Spot Fake News.” FactCheck.org. 18 Nov 2016.