Sen. Chuck Grassley is accusing Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson of giving his committee “extremely misleading” if not false testimony. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Simpson in 2017 about his work with the Democrat Party and the infamous Steele Dossier, which Simpson’s firm produced. Simpson, in his testimony, denied he still worked for the Dems after the 2016 election, but Grassley compared his sworn claims to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s congressional testimony, which have been revealed to be riddled with falsehoods—for which he’s been convicted. The two should be treated the same, Grassley said.
—QUOTABLE: “I hope that the Justice Department is handling all these instances of false statements to Congress with the same level of seriousness they treated Mr. Cohen’s.” -Grassley
—QUOTABLE: “Contrary to Mr. Simpson’s denial in the staff interview, according to the FBI and others, Fusion actually did continue Trump dossier work for a new client after the election.” -Grassley
The Senate Judiciary Committee resumed its work processing President Trump’s judicial appointments on Tuesday, and committee Democrats are back to politics as usual. That’s despite objections by the Democrats, who in particular objected to a Trump pick for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals covering New Jersey. But both New Jersey senators objected, with Sen. Cory Booker claiming no one asked him what his objections would be. Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley countered, saying the White House reached out to Booker numerous times.
—QUOTABLE: “It’s clear the White House adequately consulted with the New Jersey senators regarding Mr. Matey’s nomination. The White House first reached out to the New Jersey senators in April 2017.” -Grassley
A lesser-known woman who accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault has admitted she fabricated her claims in order to “get attention.” Judy Munro-Leighton had accused now-Justice Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct in a “Jane Doe” letter purporting to be from someone in Oceanside, California. But in a conversation with her on Nov. 1, investigators with the Senate Judiciary Committee verified the allegations were false. The woman is actually a liberal activist who is decades older than Kavanaugh and actually lives in Kentucky. Giving false information to a Senate committee is a crime. Thusly, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley referred Munro-Leighton to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. He has already done so with another discredited accuser, Julie Swetnick.
—QUOTABLE: Asked why she sent the letter: “I was angry, and I sent it out.” -Munro-Leighton
—Asked if she’d ever met Kavanaugh: “Oh Lord, no.” -Munro-Leighton
—”It is illegal to make materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements to Congressional investigators. It is illegal to obstruct Committee investigations.” -Grassley
The CIA was spying on the emails of congressional staff during the regime of failed former president Barack Obama, according to declassified documents from 2014. The agency used its ill-gotten emails to prepare a report about potential whistleblowers within the intelligence community. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley dismissed attempts by the former inspector general who oversaw the CIA back then to write the probing off as “lawful and justified.” Grassley said the snooping raises serious policy concerns.
—QUOTABLE: “The fact that the CIA under the Obama administration was reading congressional staff’s emails about intelligence community whistleblowers raises serious policy concerns as well as potential constitutional separation-of-powers issues that must be discussed publicly.” -Grassley
The Democrats are finally getting an FBI investigation in the wake of the Kavanaugh circus. Well, maybe not the one they wanted. Sen. Chuck Grassley on Thursday referred sleazy porn lawyer Michael Avenatti and a client to the FBI for investigation. The client is Julie Swetnick, who accused now-Justice Brett Kavanaugh of drugging girls at house parties in the ‘80s and running a gang rape ring while a 15 year old high schooler. Grassley alleges that the two engaged in a possible conspiracy to give false statements and info to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
—“The obvious, subsequent contradictions along with the suspicious timing of the allegations necessitate a criminal investigation by the Justice Department.” -Grassley
Sen. Chuck Grassley is hopping mad about outrageously expensive coffee cups bought by the military. The Iowa Republican is demanding answers after finding out the Air Force has been using taxpayer dollars to buy coffee cups that cost $1,280 a piece. The tumblers can reheat beverages in flight, but have cost a total of about $56,000 over the past three years. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson replied to Grassley by explaining that the handles break off the cups and they must be replaced and not repaired. Grassley wanted to know why they couldn’t just buy cheaper cups and plans to pursue the issue.
—“While I appreciate that the Air Force is working to find innovations that would help save taxpayer dollars, it remains unclear why it cannot find a cheaper alternative to a $1,280 cup.” -Grassley
Republican Senators have their groove back when it comes to judicial confirmations. With the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court complete, the Senate Judiciary Committee is pivoting to filling the rest of the federal courts. They’re eyeing up more than 40 district and circuit court judges they plan to confirm before the end of the year. Of particular interest to Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley is filling the D.C. Court of Appeals spot left open by the departure of Kavanaugh—the court is regarded as second in influence only to the Supreme Court. And committee members, inspired by the successful Kavanaugh brawl, are willing to burn the midnight oil to get the job done.
—QUOTABLE: “McConnell ought to keep the Senate in session until we get all 41 of those judges done.” -Grassley
—QUOTABLE: “I think we will easily get through them by the end of the year. If not, we will be here Christmas Day.” -Sen. John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana
Fence-sitting Republican senators Susan Collins and Jeff Flake appear satisfied with the newly released FBI report probing Brett Kavanaugh’s background. The probe was ordered by the White House after the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced Kavanaugh’s nomination to the full senate amid allegations of sexual impropriety.
Collins said: “It appears to be a very thorough investigation but I’m going back later to personally read the interviews.”
And Flake said: “We’ve seen no additional corroborating information.”
Both are moderate Republicans thought to be the critical swing votes that will determine whether the Senate will vote to confirm Kavanaugh in an expected Saturday floor vote.
Meanwhile, Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley urged the senate to end this and just take the vote: “I trust that career agents of the FBI have done their work independent of political or partisan considerations. That’s exactly what senators from both sides asked for. Now it’s up to senators to fulfill their Constitutional duty and make a judgement.”