Rep. Trey Gowdy, who has replaced outgoing Rep. Jason Chaffetz as head of the House Oversight Committee said this week that he has confidence in former FBI Director Robert Mueller and the team he has assembled to investigate Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential race.
"[He is] your quintessential straight arrow," the South Carolina Republican said during an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "I do have confidence in [Mr. Mueller]. I have confidence in the women and men he has assembled on this team."
Gowdy said he believes it would be "better for everyone involved" if he keeps his distance from President Donald Trump, as he is involved in several House committees that are exploring issues involving the president and considering the probe into potential ties between Russia and the president's campaign team.
Chaffetz, meanwhile, did meet with Trump at least once after his election.
Gowdy, a former prosecutor. also favors law enforcement officials such as Mueller, leading criminal investigations rather than congressional panels.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is considered Congress' most powerful committee, as it investigates fraud, waste, and mismanagement in federal agencies and offices.
Chaffetz will leave the House at the end of June. His midterm resignation took House members by surprise, as he was widely considered a rising party star.
Gowdy's Republican Party is in power in the House, which he said will make the probe "interesting."
Committee veterans, though, say the party affiliation will make matters tough for the 52-year-old congressman, as he'll be pulled between party loyalty and his duties for the chairmanship.
"It's very different. You're protecting the quarterback instead of sacking him," said former GOP Rep. Tom Davis, who chaired the committee while then-President George W. Bush was in office.
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