“Fox News Primetime” host and former House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy criticized the sentence handed down to former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith after he pleaded guilty to falsifying a document in relation to the Russia investigation.
Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, recalled his past experiences working with FBI agents.
“Every one of those agents I worked with, you would be proud to have as your next-door neighbor and a coach of your kid’s team. That was the FBI I know,” he said. “But that was not the FBI in charge. I never met or worked with an FBI agent like Peter Strzok. When I was a prosecutor, I never met an FBI agent or employee who would let his own political opinions influence his work. I never worked with an FBI lawyer like Kevin Clinesmith.
“Kevin Clinesmith was actively, vocally biased against President Trump,” Gowdy continued. “He also falsified a document to make it easier to target a political opponent. Kevin Clinesmith thought he was part of some great moral resistance — a resistance, I might add, to a duly elected president.”
Gowdy added that America prides itself on being a nation of laws where justice and fairness are watchwords.
“But that requires excellence from the women and men we empower to enforce those laws,” he said. “We need a justice system that is not only respected, but worthy of our respect.”
In Clinesmith’s case, “he thought it was OK to use his incredible powers to target political enemies,” Gowdy said. “You know, when you think about law enforcement and what they are supposed to do, it’s not just a badge and a gun and a uniform. It’s more than that. It’s trust. It’s a sacred trust.
“We trust you with the power to arrest, to detain, to search, to deprive our citizens of their freedom. Those are awesome powers. All we ask in return is that you use those powers justly, fairly, and appropriately.”
“I cannot think of anything more unjust than manufacturing evidence to hurt a political opponent and then lying about it,” Gowdy continued. “Kevin Clinesmith was caught … If you are wondering what the proper punishment is for someone we entrust with the special powers who manufactures evidence … the proper punishment apparently is probation … Not a single day in prison for abusing your position of trust to manufacture evidence against a political opponent. Not a single day in prison.
“The media and the Democrats wanted Roger Stone to go to jail for seven to nine years for lying to Congress. The media and the Democrats were delighted that George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn and others were facing active prison sentences for making false statements. But you don’t hear much about Kevin, who didn’t get a single solitary day in prison.”
“I wish we lived in a world where people who committed similar offenses would receive similar sentences,” Gowdy concluded. “That would be nice. That would be fair. That would be just. That would be equal.”
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.