One of the U.S. Senate’s most powerful Republicans is fuming mad at President Donald Trump.
What’s riled up Grassley is the refusal by the Trump administration to turn over sensitive information related to Russia.
This morning’s article says that Grassley “is accusing the Trump administration of stonewalling him over a request for documents related to the Russia investigation,” so he is holding up the nomination of a key Trump appointee.
Then the article goes on to say:
“The Iowa Republican’s demand for Justice Department documents on its probe of possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow has left William Evanina’s nomination to head the National Counterintelligence and Security Center in limbo for the past year, frustrating the nation’s top intelligence leaders and even some fellow Senate Republicans.”
The POLITICO report notes that Grassley is seeking specific documents concerning to Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, “who became a conduit between former British spy Christopher Steele and the FBI.”
In a statement submitted to the Congressional Record, Grassley wrote:
“The administration’s continued, ongoing, and blatant lack of cooperation has forced my hand.”
Grassley has blamed Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats for the lack of cooperation. He also is unhappy with how he is being treated.
DNI Coats is “covering for the Justice Department, and there’s something embarrassing in it all they don’t want us to know about,” Grassley said in an interview.
Coats then retaliated by saying that he was “deeply troubled” by the verbal assault from Grassley.
“That is simply not true,” Coats stated, saying the information should only be provided “through congressional leadership and the intelligence oversight committees.”
According to POLITICO:
“Grassley’s refusal to allow Evanina to be confirmed threatens to inflame tensions between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress at a time when national security leaders are warning that China and Russia are not only stepping up espionage efforts but likely preparing significant operations to influence the 2020 election.”
But Grassley is remaining firm in his demands, even as he has been threatened, saying:
“If I’m going to do congressional oversight I’ve got to use every tool I can, because the public’s business ought to be public.”
“Ask Coats if he’s concerned about this guy moving on. If he is, then give me the information. If he’s not concerned about it, then we’ll continue the hold.”
In his statement, Coats responded by saying that Grassley “preventing the administration from filling a critical national security position with a nominee who has bipartisan support over a jurisdictional dispute in the Senate ill-serves our shared mission to keep the American people safe.”
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.