Sen. Chuck Grassley Blames Obama For a Scandal Caused By His Own Former Staffer

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It never ceases to amaze that politicians spend millions, sometimes tens-of-millions, of dollars to go to Washington to serve the people as lawmakers and earn far less than the cost of even one campaign. It is even more curious that over the past five years Republicans spend copious amounts of their donors’ money and have done little else than search for a scandal involving the African American President they have proven to hate with a biblical passion. It is a travesty, and a mystery, why any American would vote for Republicans who not only do nothing for the American people, but spend the majority of their waking hours wasting taxpayer time and money investigating alleged White House scandals that, more often than not, are of their own making.

Darrell Issa has led investigations into the President for Issa’s scheme with an I.R.S. inspector general to target teabagger groups seeking tax-exempt status, the Benghazi attack Republicans caused by cutting embassy security funding, and George W. Bush’s deal to send guns into Mexico. Although Issa is the face of the investigations into the Obama Administration, he obviously has the blessings of Republican leadership, Fox News, the Koch brothers, and a plethora of behind-the-scenes conservatives. Not to be outdone, in the Senate a Republican thought he had seized on a White House scandal that did not develop the way he planned, and as usual, it is a scandal involving at least two Republicans who the Securities and Exchange Commission allege violated the law involving stock trades and privileged information.

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Early last year, traders on Wall Street “mysteriously” discovered that the Obama administration was planning to make a policy change to Medicare before the news was even announced. Subsequently, there was a flurry of stock trades involving major health care companies that aroused suspicion of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC); it also caught the attention of Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley. Grassley took the typical Republican position and immediately blamed the African American in the Oval Office as the “source of the leak” and used his position as a member of the Senate Finance and Judiciary committees to investigate the Obama Administration. However, as is nearly always the case when Republicans accuse and attack the White House of wrongdoing, it turns out the insider trading leak originated with a House Republican; and a former aide to none other than Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.

In a Wall Street Journal story last week, it was reported that federal regulators and law enforcement officials are focusing their attention on a Republican health policy staffer in the House. According to a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, investigators believe the staffer “may have been” the source of the leak. The SEC lawsuit sought to force the staffer to turn over records to investigators through the use of subpoenas, but he and the House committee refused to comply.

The SEC lawsuit claims that the House staffer, Brian Sutter, spoke with a lobbyist identified as Mark Hayes on the day of the leak; Hayes just happens to be a former aide to Senator Chuck Grassley. The suit alleges that Sutter was in touch with Hayes by both email and phone and that they discussed the upcoming Medicare policy change. The SEC also alleges that Grassley’s former aide, Hayes, then gave the information to a research firm, which distributed the flash that set off the flurry of stock trading. If the allegations are borne out, the, Republican staffer and Grassley’s former aide at the very least violated the 2012 law, Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, that forbids government officials from disclosing non-public information that could affect stock prices.

Grassley suspected the leaks regarding health policy changes came from the Obama administration since at least December 2011. He said “My concern is that these allegations suggest a continuing pattern in which Obama administration officials disseminate information to well-connected lobbyists in non-public settings.” In April 2013, Grassley became convinced the White House was guilty of wrongdoing when the story broke that the rash of stock trades followed the leak of the White House’s Medicare policy change. The change “reversed proposed funding cuts for private insurers and the leak became a market-moving event.” The very next day Grassley sent a letter to the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) claiming “the incident raises questions regarding political intelligence brokers’ ability to gather information from CMS in order to predict market moving events.

About a week later, Grassley aired his accusations on the floor of the Senate saying, “When information leaks from the administration that has the ability to cause significant market movement, it is wrong and quite possibly illegal.” He then asserted the leaks could have come from the “White House itself,” and intimated that the CMS administrator would have trouble getting to the bottom of the issue given that the leak lied deep within the administration. Grassley said, “I obviously do not believe that you can get the folks at Health and Human Services or the Office of Management and Budget or the White House without some help, so I am going to pursue this. So you inform them that I expect action to be taken, and I am going to get to the bottom of it one way or the other.” Senator Grassley did not get to the bottom of the so-called scandal, but the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice certainly did and predictably they filed a lawsuit and launched a criminal probe respectively; into Republicans.

Last Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the top Republican health staffer on the House Ways and Means Committee, Brian Sutter, had been subpoenaed by both the SEC and Justice Department to testify before a grand jury in Manhattan federal court. The SEC demanded records from Sutter, as well as the House committee, and had to file another lawsuit when Sutter and the committee refused to comply with its subpoenas. Lawyers for the Republican House argued that the Constitution protected them from complying with anyone’s subpoenas they claimed “run afoul of the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause;” they will respond at their own convenience on those grounds.

It has gotten to the point that every time Republicans target the Obama Administration for some purported scandal or wrongdoing, it is a safe bet they are guilty of precisely what they accuse the President of doing. Darrell Issa created the so-called I.R.S. scandal and is still wasting taxpayer time and money, and at the direction of Fox News, John Boehner initiated yet another investigation into the Benghazi attacks that Republicans are ultimately responsible for allowing. Now, Grassley’s big investigation into White House leaks initiated a pair of SEC lawsuits and a Justice Department criminal probe into a House Republican staffer and former aide to Senator Grassley.

At some juncture one would think Republicans would either get to doing the work they were sent to Washington to do for the American people, or at least delve deeply into who really is corrupt and scandalous in Washington. However, they will hardly investigate themselves, especially when there is a very visible Black man to blame for their actions and it reveals there obsession with President Obama is not borne of belief he is guilty of wrongdoing, but that he is an African American.

19 Replies to “Sen. Chuck Grassley Blames Obama For a Scandal Caused By His Own Former Staffer”

  1. Remember the old adage: Be careful what you wish for, lest it come back to bite your own political party in the ass.

  2. I knew when the flood gates of money opened it was just a matter of time till all the repubs would go crazy. I actually thought it would take a little longer. They are greedy little pigs and can’t help themselves. Just like last week when Issa said the IRS “scandal” was an attempt to take down Citizens United. So that tells you who his masters are.

    Christie, Walker, Scott, Grassley, this is just the tip of the iceberg. More names will come out before it’s over.

  3. The Speech or Debate Clause is a clause in the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 6, Clause 1). The clause states that members of both Houses of Congress
    shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony, and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their attendance at the Session of their Respective Houses

    Forgive me but how is a staffer a member of the Houses of Congress?

    The intended purpose is to prevent a President or other officials of the executive branch from having members arrested on a pretext to prevent them from voting a certain way or otherwise taking actions with which the President might disagree.
    The SEC is a agency and not part of the Executive branch

    To use that defense is how should I put it
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  4. This bum has done so little over the past 5 or so years, I thought either he had been voted out or died. These wingnuts are like Zombies, you can’t kill them, and boy are they UGLY!!!

  5. Okay, so the way I understand it is, since Lerner used to be one of Grassley’s staff members, she’s allowed to use her position to target him? I guess I don’t understand that.

  6. Its not our fault because you don’t understand your head from your ass. Republicans say they have emails that Lerner targeted Grassley. First name one thing that has turned out to be true from any allegations republican have made. Two the only people who are reporting that this is true are republican outlets. Three its mighty strange that this came out when Grassley staff are being looked at for insider trading, leaking sensitive documents and quite possibly profiting from the leak.

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  7. How in the name of God does your response MAKE ANY SENSE? You dribbled all those words, and yet not a single thing answered why it’s okay for Lerner to target Grassley because she once worked for him? Can you answer that? Or will you post Star Trek crap again? Holy crap, if this is indicative of your level of intellect, God help us all.

  8. …so Chucky Grasspuffer is blaming President Obama for the actions of 2 of his people,{one past, one present, but they keep in touch} and even when confronted with facts doubles down on Stupidity…
    GOP BS at its worst…

  9. Look fool I see you didn’t read the email only what they told your bagger ass what to think.
    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/irs_grassley.pdf

    If you can read in essence this is what it is saying. It was an invitation to appear on stage with Grassley’s wife. Learner said she don’t want to be on stage with Grassley on this issue. You know conflict of interest something you baggers failed to understand

    Then the director of the event is not sure if this is income for the Senator and had to wait for his acceptance to attend then they would determine to send him a 1099 to report the income and even if he didn’t it is his duty to report the income

    Then Learner wrote back saying it looks like they were trying to be underhanded in paying his wife. Then said perhaps we should refer to an exam. As of now there has been no audit of Sen. Grassley on this matter

    Then someone named Dawn sent the correct letter to the director of the event, thanking him for his humor and then teasing him over a football game.

    Then Matthew thank her and said he would send the pdf invite to learner.The end

    How the f*ck do you baggers get that Grassley was targeted from that is beyond me.

  10. Facts never were the strong suit of the Teapublican party. Why go with facts when what I make up appeals more to me and will make a bigger splash? At least until I get called on it, than it is I misspoke and it”s his fault. That isn’t what was said. You misunderstood and that wasn’t my intent. Sounds good even if not the truth. They spin what appeals to them.

  11. Unfortunately Iowa loves their incumbents, no matter how stupid or vile they may be.

    Grassley has been a vile mouthed senator and gaffe-tastic for 30+ years. The only reason why his gaffes don’t usually get the press is that Iowa has Steve King in the house taking attention away from the stupid things Grassley says. It is pathetic either way you look at it. Add this one to the growing (but not nearly as fast as King’s) list of stupid things that Grassley says or does…. Grrrrr!

  12. Finally someone writes an article with some truth. The republicans will try anything to make the president look bad. I am not crazy about Obama, but the republicans continue to waste tax payers money going after Obama. If anyone needs to be investigated, it should be John Boehner! I was a republican voter for 30 years. I got wise and started paying attention to how our government works. I realized that the republicans have been bought out by the 1%. Anyone who votes for a republican who is not a billionaire is wasting their vote and hurting themselves. I am not saying to vote Democrat, I am saying to vote for anyone you want to, as long as they are not a republican.

  13. If not being vile was a condition of employment, then Harry Reid should have been gone a long time ago along with Charles Rangel.

  14. You can always tell the right wing by their looks(mean and far from good looking),doing nothing(but taking tax payer dollars and living off of their owners). People who keep voting in these insane people are just out to destroy this country but are too stupid to realize it. Their dream for America is utter control over everyone and everything. Wish there was a plaque that would eradicate them. Let them live their self fulfills prophesy. Heck,they want all Jewish people to be destroyed so they can reach their Utopia,why not them. Grassley is an senile old fool who,like all of them use the office for their own gain. Duck Dynasty intelligence is what the right wing is comprised of.

  15. You are an idiot and probably a closet Klansman. First Passed Health Care Reform, Passed the Stimulus, Passed Wall Street Reform, Ended the War in Iraq, Began Drawdown of War in Afghanistan, Eliminated Osama bin laden, Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry,Repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Reversed Bush Torture Policies, Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Spending, Increased Support for Veterans, Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants, Achieved New START Treaty, Passed Fair Sentencing Act and the list go on.

    I will end it with this, Eliminated Syria’s Chemical weapons without a single American life lost and without trillions of dollars wasted like you know you. Now go have a beer and a pretzel with the dummy you voted for

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