Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.
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Former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy will not join President Donald Trump’s outside counsel, he told NBC News on Thursday, despite reportedly leaving a role at Fox News late last year to help the president’s legal team amid an impeachment fight.
Gowdy, who had served as the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and left Congress in 2019, told McClatchy in an email that he would not join Trump’s legal team.
“The president has good lawyers and more importantly good facts,” Gowdy told McClatchy. “He does not need another lawyer added to his team. He needs the trial to begin and end.”
Gowdy confirmed in a text message to NBC that he had decided not to join the president’s counsel. Gowdy could not be reached by CNBC for comment.
A Fox News spokesperson told CNBC in October that Gowdy had been fired as a contributor to the network. A source familiar with the situation noted at the time that Gowdy representing the president would pose a conflict of interest with his role as a Fox contributor.
Trump’s personal lawyer Jay Sekulow told NBC in October that he was “pleased to announce that former Congressman Trey Gowdy is joining our team as Counsel to the President.”
“Trey’s command of the law is well known and his service on Capitol Hill will be a great asset as a member of our team,” he said.
In an email Thursday evening, Sekulow told CNBC that “there really is nothing to report.” He did not directly confirm that Gowdy would not join Trump’s team.
In Congress, Gowdy had served as the head of the House Benghazi Committee, which investigated a terrorist attack in Libya that left four Americans dead, including the country’s U.S. ambassador, Christopher Stevens.
A day after Gowdy’s ouster from Fox was announced, Trump said that the former representative from South Carolina would not be able to join his team until at least January, citing federal lobbying rules.
“Trey Gowdy is a terrific guy. I think there’s a problem with, he can’t start for another couple of months because of lobbying rules and regulations. So you’ll have to ask about that,” Trump said then.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.