WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to a statement released by his office on Wednesday, U.S. representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) has begun a self-imposed hunger strike which he vows to continue until presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is “brought to justice” over her handling of classified information on a personal email server she used during her time as Secretary of State.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, who in 1932 went on hunger strike from his prison cell in Bombay to protest against British rule in India, Congressman Gowdy – who chairs the House Select Committee on Benghazi – said he bears “a moral and ethical responsibility to the American people to see this matter through until whatever end may come.”
“Congressman Gowdy is prepared to face the intense and potentially life threatening psychological and physical hurdles that lay ahead of him,” Amanda Gonzalez, a spokesperson for Gowdy’s office said on Wednesday. Ms. Gonzalez confirmed that Congressman Gowdy had made the decision to swear off food upon hearing the FBI’s recommendation that no charges be filed against Mrs. Clinton. “Until justice is served, Congressman Gowdy’s diet will consist of vitamins and purified water,” Gonzalez said.
A number of conservative leaders voiced feelings of support for the South Carolina representative’s commitment to go on hunger strike. “Congressman Trey Gowdy’s actions reflect a sense of honor and courage rarely seen in these trying times,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Wednesday. “All too often – and particularly with this administration – we see politicians who appear to operate with total impunity.”
Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who spoke to C-SPAN early Wednesday morning, praised Gowdy’s decision to take part in “non-violent resistance against the status quo.” However, while Sanders called the hunger strike a meaningful act, he predicted it would accomplish very little. “I hope Mr. Gowdy is aware of the potential outcome and that he has the intestinal fortitude required to make the ultimate sacrifice,” Senator Sanders said.