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Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley On The Confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, Pending Appeals Court Nominees

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Audio:

10-10hhs-grassley

Transcript:

HH: I begin now with United States Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Let me begin, Senator Grassley, by thanking you and congratulating you on an extraordinary job well done over the past 13 weeks of the Kavanaugh proceedings.

CG: I’m with you. We had you on mute. I’m sorry.

HH: Okay, well, congratulations. You did an amazing job.

CG: Well, thank you, and my part was to make sure we had a fair and thorough hearing, and that we had 11 votes to get it out of committee. But I think a real turning point was Senator Collins’ speech, an excellent speech. And now, you can see how the liberals are ganging up against her, and they don’t have any right to do that, because she’s been very much a feminist throughout her time. And they’ve raised $3 million dollars to run against her, and I think conservatives ought to get by and say thank you to her, and making sure that she doesn’t face the onslaught of this mob that was up against Kavanaugh.

HH: I think the center-right will rally to her greatly in 2020 if anyone has the, is dumb enough to run against Susan Collins in Maine. It’s like running against Chuck Grassley in Iowa. You just don’t do some things. Senator, I had Mike Lee on last hour. He explained to me that he and his family were doxed, their private information put out on the web. Did that happen to you as well?

CG: It must have, but not to the point that it affected him and some other senators. I got some midnight calls that I didn’t answer the phone, but there was an effort to intimidate me, I suppose, through phone calls. When I heard one four-letter word, I hung up and I never answered any other phone calls on that particular night. And I think it only happened one night to me, so I was fairly lucky. Look at what happens to people like Rand Paul or Mrs. Paul and Lee and I don’t know how many other senators, or even Cruz being driven out of a restaurant, and what happened to the, a couple months ago to the President’s press secretary. This is mob rule. It’s in your face. And we have senators that are saying get in their face. We’re having Congresswomen say confront cabinet members if you see them in a restaurant. And it’s the sort of thing that leads to more incivility in our society. And if anybody thinks there’s incivility in Washington, Washington’s kind of a reflection of the grassroots. But on the other hand, those of us that are public servants ought to set an example of civility so we can get this country calmed down, bring us together. So Booker saying something like get in their face, or Congresswoman Waters saying what she said, it’s just, it’s not the epitome of leadership that Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C. ought to be emphasizing.

HH: Now Secretary of State Clinton told Christiane Amanpour yesterday that civility’s only possible after the election, that you can’t be civil to people who are trying to destroy you. Were you shocked by her comments?

CG: Yeah. Of course, I was shocked by it. And I hope that Republicans, and I assume her comments came because Kavanaugh was successful, or we were successful in getting Kavanaugh on the Court. So my rallying cry for the next 28 days of this election is remember Kavanaugh. And I hope that Republicans, and I hope people that want Republicans that voted for Trump realize that if there’s not Republican majority in the House of Representatives, not only will there be talk of impeachment of Kavanaugh or the President, but even if there isn’t talk of impeachment, effectively the program of the President’s going to come to a halt. He’ll have a two year Trump presidency. The last two years will be status quo. And unless he’s reelected, that’s the end of it. So if you liked the victory of 2016, get behind Trump and vote for a Republican Congressman. Keep a Republican majority in the Congress. Otherwise, Trump is done.

HH: Now Senator Grassley, I always ask you about pending nominees. There are 10 Appeals Court nominees before you. Three are out of committee. Will all ten of those nominees get a vote before the end of the year?

CG: Well, there’s more than 10. There’s 41 on the calendar right now, and I think there’s 10 in our committee. And I think hopefully, I get the 10 out of our committee. But McConnell ought to keep the Senate in session until we get all 41 of those judges done. Or if you want to add 10 more to it, add 10 more to it.

HH: That’s, I’m talking about the 10 Appeals Court nominees, and I am wondering about the Kavanaugh vacancy on the D.C. Circuit. Is there time for a nominee to come out of the White House and be confirmed by the end of the year for the D.C. Circuit nomination, a vacancy created by Brett Kavanaugh’s promotion?

CG: If we received it right now, the answer is yes, but just before Christmas. So it kind of depends upon how long we’ll be in session. And by the way, I’m not denigrating your efforts to get 10 Circuit Court judges approved, because I’m in favor of them as well. And we’re pushing them. For instance, we have two Ohio Circuit Court judges on the calendar for today’s hearing, as another example.

HH: Well, it’s always important to take care of Ohio, Senator. I’m from Ohio, so I’m all in favor of that. Let me go back and ask you about an interesting thing Lindsey Graham said. If I become chairman, and I immediately looked over at Chuck Grassley and said where’s Chuck Grassley going? And is there another committee that interests you more than Judiciary?

CG: Well, don’t forget that for four years, I was chairman of the Finance Committee. There’s two more years I can serve as chairman of the Finance Committee. But I won’t be making any decision on that. And my decision, if I were to go someplace else, would affect Lindsey Graham. But I’m not going to make that decision until November 7th.

HH: All right. Now can you tell me if you think, I’m a member of the D.C. Bar. I’m also a member of the California Bar. I’m not actively practicing law now, but I pay my D.C. Bar dues. Do you believe the District of Columbia Bar ought to investigate Dr. Ford’s lawyers, because she said she was not aware of your committee’s repeated offers to come to her in California?

CG: Well, it surely isn’t representing your client right. And I’ll leave it up to the Bar Association discipline action that they ought to take. I won’t invoke myself in that. But we do have some members of my committee that are raising a lot of questions that went on in regard to the shenanigans of Democrats here within the last month, particularly the Ford letter being exposed. And some of my Republican colleagues think that we ought to do some investigating along that line. That is within my prerogative. I have not made a decision to do that, yet, but I’m going to consult with my colleagues on the committee and make a collegial determination on that.

HH: Now you do have jurisdiction in your committee over the FBI and the Department of Justice. I am curious if you are interested in using that jurisdiction to investigate the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi in Turkey, because I think the FBI could be of help if Saudi Arabia invited our, I talked to the Vice President about this, invited our people to come to their embassy. What is your reaction to what appears to be a state-sponsored execution of a dissident journalist?

CG: Well, it would be true of whether the terrorists were killing somebody or a state doing it. It’s still, as far as I’m concerned, something that violates not only human rights, but international treaties. And I see journalists as protections of not only for people, but at least in our country, they’re the policemen of our democratic system, if they’re unbiased.

HH: And so do you think there’s a role for Congress in pressuring the Saudis to come clean with what has happened here?

CG: I think they owe it to us, because we are so protective of them and so supportive of them, and particularly against Iran. And we’re very much in battle with Iran through sanctions, and pulling out of the nuclear agreement. And that’s very much in Saudi’s interests. They ought to do it just because of our close working relationship.

HH: All right, last question, Senator, I always ask you this, because it’s interesting to me, as a History Channel buff myself. You and I are probably the most consumers of the History Channel out there. Is it getting any better?

CG: Oh, no. It’s worse. Now, it’s not the Axe Men, it’s the Mountain Man. And then pretty soon, they’re going to go back to the swamp in Florida.

HH: And so, what do you want them to do? What do you think they should be doing?

CG: I want them to either change their name or have real history.

HH: I am with you, Senator. I’m with you, Senator.

CG: By the way, can I point you to my Twitter?

HH: Yes.

CG: I’ve got, once a week, I have the real History Channel, #RealHistoryChannel. And I have history on about things, mostly the U.S. Capitol.

HH: I will…

CG: So I’m trying to make up for them.

HH: Done and done. Chuck Grassley, always a pleasure, Senator. Thank you for joining us. And let’s get a D.C. Circuit nominee out of the White House this week.

End of interview.

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