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Trey Gowdy out at Fox News amid talks to join Trump defense team

The Hill logo The Hill 10/9/2019 Joe Concha
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Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) is no longer a contributor for Fox News amid discussions on him joining President Trump's legal team battling House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

"Trey Gowdy has been terminated and is no longer a contributor," a Fox News spokesperson confirmed to The Hill on Wednesday.

Reports began to surface on Tuesday afternoon that Gowdy, a former prosecutor in South Carolina, was in discussions to join the president's impeachment defense team.

"We are in discussion with Trey about joining our team," Trump attorney Jay Sekulow confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday, adding that no final decisions have been made.

Fox News reported during the network's "Outnumbered" program Wednesday that Trump has hired Gowdy as outside counsel. The Hill has reached out to the White House for comment.

The 55-year-old is a former chair of the House Oversight Committee and led the House Benghazi Committee, where he grilled former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Obama administration officials in October 2015 over what occurred in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya.

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The news comes as the White House escalated its battle with congressional Democrats on Tuesday evening, with the White House saying that the administration "cannot participate" in what it called a "partisan and unconstitutional" impeachment inquiry.

"President Trump and his administration reject your baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process," White House counsel Pat Cipollone stated in a letter sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

"Your unprecedented actions have left the president with no choice. In order to fulfill his duties to the American people, the Constitution, the Executive Branch, and all future occupants of the Office of the Presidency, President Trump and his administration cannot participate in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances."

Pelosi announced in late September that the House would formally launch an impeachment inquiry into Trump, alleging he abused his office by urging the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to "look into" Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Trump has focused on Biden's efforts as vice president to push for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had drawn the ire of the U.S. government and its allies in the West. Biden has defended his actions.

Gowdy was hired as a Fox News contributor in January 2019.

- Brett Samuels contributed reporting

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