Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is taking an increasingly active role in the Russia Interference investigation. Grassley is using his authority as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to threaten key players of subpoena, and commenting on emerging news.
Grassley has warned that he would subpoena members and aides of the Trump family due to the roles they allegedly played in Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.
After encouraging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the Department of Justice’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the elections, Grassley also defended Sessions from Trump’s public criticism a few weeks earlier. He warned the White House that there was no time for another confirmation hearing this year if Sessions was to be fired.
Earlier in June, in a letter to Trump, Grassley criticized the President’s Office of Legal Counsel for opining that the constitutional authority to make official inquiries into the executive branch only rests with committee chairman and no rank-and-file members.
In the letter to the president, Grassley wrote, “This is nonsense.”
Such are the actions that make Grassley’s reputation as an investigator noteworthy.
“He’s got a strong sense of right and wrong and I think that sense even surpasses party, which around here is a real virtue,” said the Judiciary Committee’s top-ranking Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.),
Grassley and Feinstein appeared to be on the same page on the Russia investigation. Displaying uncharacteristic cooperation, the bipartisan team was able to and secure testimonies from former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and even Donald Trump Jr.
“This is vintage Charles Grassley. He believes in strong oversight and he’s going to be as aggressive as he feels like he needs to be in order to get it done,” Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said.
“Chuck Grassley has a reputation for rigorous oversight unmatched perhaps by anybody else in the Senate.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee is also making efforts to get their hands on former FBI Director James Comey’s memos, notes he wrote regarding his interactions with the president before he was dismissed.
In an interview, Grassley claimed that no individual from the White House of the Senate GOP leadership had attempted to discourage him from pursuing the cause.
“I’ve had no face-to-face contact with anybody, I’ve had no phone calls from anybody. Not only my colleagues but not from the White House either,” he said.
For Grassley, oversight and investigations are a high priority. As chairman of the Judiciary committee, he has prodigious and powerful resources at his disposal to investigate the important affairs of the nation.
He also oversaw a similar investigation team while chairing the Senate Finance Committee. One of his most high-profile cases was the controversy surrounding the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010, in an operation conducted by Obama’s Justice Department.