Former congressman Trey Gowdy called House Democrats "feckless and irrelevant" Wednesday in response to a vote to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress.
"Barr is ostensibly being held in contempt for not turning over documents he has no legal obligation to turn over. In fact, it would be against the law to do so," Gowdy said on "The Story with Martha MacCallum."
The House Wednesday voted to hold Barr and Ross in criminal contempt, saying they were stonewalling congressional probes into the Trump administration's efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Gowdy said contempt of Congress didn't matter after Tuesday, when Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi violated House rules.
"Nobody cares what Congress does. What we saw yesterday -- they can't even enforce their own House rules against their own members. So, there used to be a stigma attached to being held in contempt of Congress. There ain't no more," Gowdy said. "So, I would tell Bill Barr, 'Your reputation as an incredible lawyer is intact. Don't give it another thought.'"
The former South Carolina GOP congressman argued that Ross would need to explain the administration's mishandling of the Census question but argued it would be hard to get a fair hearing.
"With respect to Wilbur Ross on the census, I think the administration mishandled it and they do have some explaining to do," Gowdy said. "It'd be nice to explain it in front of a fair jury that has not already made up its mind. But when 60 Democrats vote to impeach you before [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller has issued a single consonant or vowel in his report, that ain't a fair jury."
Gowdy argued that the House of Representatives has lost its power under Democratic leadership.
"Congress has worked itself into obscurity [and] irrelevance. When you can go on the floor of the House as the presidents say 'I'm going to do it with or without you,' and Congress stands up and cheers, you have rendered that branch of government feckless and irrelevant," Gowdy said. "Congratulations. The House doesn't matter anymore. White House and Senate [matter], House doesn't matter."