It seemed to happen all too suddenly. South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee announced on Wednesday that he would not be seeking re-election.
His announcement comes after his January 10, 2018 resignation from the House Ethics Committee citing his position on the House Oversight Committee as the reason.
Gowdy’s letter stated that, “Four committee assignments, including a Chairmanship, is a challenging workload.”
Many had hoped that Gowdy would have been President Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Attorney General instead of Jeff Sessions. The American public was searching for someone with experience to “dissect” the issues and then go full bore after the accused, not the laid back persona of Sessions.
Anyone who has seen Gowdy in action knows that he’s a “bulldog” who, once he gets his “teeth” in you, doesn’t let go.
However, it wasn’t to be.
Gowdy indicated before Trump chose Sessions that Gowdy wasn’t interested in the attorney general position. He also turned down the position of FBI Director when former FBI Director Comey was fired.
When asked at one point if Sessions should resign as attorney general due to recusing himself over the “Russia interference with the election” investigation under Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Gowdy had this to say about the job.:
“The attorney general position is too important to reward some political supporter with. I can think of a lot of reasons that maybe the president should have interviewed other people and found someone apolitical and independent to hold this very important position.”
There are many who hope that Gowdy’s retirement signals a possibility that Trump is going to fire Sessions and replace him with Gowdy.
However, based upon what Gowdy said in the past about who should hold the attorney general position, Gowdy would clearly not be considered “apolitical or independent” in order to take the reigns.
Additionally, Trump has said numerous times that Sessions is and remains his choice for the position.
So, if the FBI Director position is out because he doesn’t want it (and it’s already filled) and doesn’t see himself as attorney general by his own words, then what?
Gowdy took to Twitter today to give us a hint at what he may be doing in the future.
Gowdy tweeted on Wednesday:
“I will not be filing for re-election to Congress nor seeking any other political or elected office; instead I will be returning to the justice system.”
Gowdy is a prosecutor at heart having served as both a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina from 1994 to 2000 and then as the solicitor or district attorney for South Carolina’s Seventh Judicial Circuit from 2000 to 2010, according to his bio.
Does this mean he will take a similar position upon his return to South Carolina? Could Gowdy take a position as a federal appeals judge instead?
On the same day that Gowdy announced his retirement, Judge Dennis W. Shedd, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, assumed senior status effective Wednesday for the appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, leaving a vacancy that Gowdy could fill.
However, Amanda Gonzalez, spokesperson for Gowdy, said Gowdy “is planning to return to South Carolina to practice law.”
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott also confirmed that he is certain that Gowdy does not want to be nominated for the open seat on the appeals court.
It’s surprising considering it could provide Gowdy with an opportunity that many believe he would excel in.
Maybe he’s waiting for an opportunity someday to be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.
While much about Gowdy’s decision leaves more questions than answers,perhaps Gowdy just wants to “ride off into the sunset” even though many Americans don’t want that to happen.
It’s a little known fact that Gowdy initially turned down a scholarship to the University of South Carolina law school and instead embarked on a path of discovery.
It was during that period when he heard the Rev. Billy Graham speaking and gave his life to God.
Gowdy said of that moment that “He was cut to the heart and fell to his knees.”
“I’m lost,” he cried out to God. “You’ve got to help me. Please give me a sense of purpose and direction.”
Reports indicate that “It was a divinely inspired turning point, re-igniting his relationship with the Lord and infusing him with vision.”
“You don’t have that many inflection points in life that you can point to and say it represented a change,” says Gowdy. “That would be the most important one because from that came most of the good things that have happened in my life.”
Gowdy eventually went to law school without the scholarship and became a successful federal prosecutor and congressman.
Perhaps, Gowdy is once again listening to God for guidance and our plans for what we would like to see Gowdy do aren’t God’s plan for him.
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