Trey Gowdy has been "terminated and is no longer a contributor" at Fox News, just one day after Axios reported that the former South Carolina lawmaker had joined president Trump's legal team as outside counsel.
Gowdy retired from Congress last year after opting no to seek reelection, instead returning to private practice and joining Fox News as a contributor.
According to Axios, Trump asked Gowdy to assist him with legal advice amid an ongoing impeachment inquiry. "Gowdy is expected to advise the White House behind the scenes and appear on TV to advocate on behalf of the president," a person familiar with the matter told Axios's Margarate Talev, adding that his experience heading the Benghazi probe (which found no wrongdoing by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) was seen as an asset.
According to Gowdy's bio at law firm Nelson Mullins:
As a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives for South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District, Mr. Gowdy chaired the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. He served on the House Committees on Intelligence and Ethics. He also served on the Judiciary Committee, where he served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations. He was involved in the Benghazi and Russian investigations, two of the most significant congressional investigations in the last decade. An experienced trial lawyer, Mr. Gowdy is a former state and federal prosecutor.
Gowdy joins Trump's legal team amid a flurry of impeachment-related subpoenas that the White House has refused to comply with - a move House Democrats said would constitute obstruction, a potentially impeachable offense itself.
The White House said Tuesday that it will not cooperate with House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, ratcheting up tensions between the legislative and executive branches amid an outcry from Democrats that the Trump administration is stonewalling their investigations.
Trump personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani said earlier Tuesday that he would not cooperate with House investigators and that he “can’t imagine” that anyone from the Trump administration would appear before a Democratic-led panel investigating the president.
Giuliani’s comments came hours after the State Department blocked a scheduled deposition by Gordon Sondland, a key figure in the Ukraine controversy, prompting three House committee chairmen to announce that they would issue a subpoena.
It will be interesting to see how Gowdy and Giuliani play together.