Grassley Defends Kavanaugh Hearing, Praises Trump for “Big Victory” on “Outstanding” Nominee

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On Saturday, after last week’s contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, committee chairman Chuck Grassley took to Twitter to congratulate himself and President Trump on their efforts to bypass Democratic opposition to the pick following Grassley’s months-long obstruction on Obama nominee Merrick Garland before Trump’s election.

Grassley defended the hearing process again Monday, speaking to the Des Moines Register after an event in Atlantic. “I knew there were going to be some fireworks, but there was a lot more than I thought there was going to be,” he said. He also clarified his tweet from Saturday: “It’s a victory because I didn’t let the Democrats adjourn the meeting, so it’s a procedural thing, not a thing of substance.”

Democrats on the committee interrupted Grassley as he introduced Kavanaugh, requesting that the hearing be adjourned because they’d had inadequate time to review documents from the nominee’s time as a George W. Bush staff secretary; and protesters later repeatedly interrupted the proceedings. At the event in Atlantic, Grassley reportedly told his audience that Democrats “were rude to me, but we got through it.”

The Register article gave just a brief passing mention to accusations that Kavanaugh committed perjury during last week’s hearing. Specifically, he appears to have lied at least five times while under oath about documents that Republicans tried to withhold before they were eventually leaked. The documents revealed that Kavanaugh was aware of documents stolen from Democrats, Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program, and legal questions about the administration’s use of torture despite his claims to the contrary.

The inconsistencies don’t appear to have bothered Grassley. “By any measure, his testimony was outstanding,” the senator wrote for the Daily Signal, a website run by the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank. “In the face of a coordinated effort by opponents to derail the hearing, Kavanaugh was unflappable, showcasing his deep understanding of case law and legal precedent, his judicial independence, and his unwavering fidelity to the Constitution.”

“Kavanaugh is, without a doubt, one of the most qualified and prepared candidates I have ever encountered in my 38 years on the Judiciary Committee,” Grassley added. “He will make an exceptional justice on the Supreme Court.”

Related: Check out Sam Locke Ward’s Scumbag Grassley comic strips satirizing the Kavanaugh hearing.

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Gavin Aronsen is an editor and reporter for and founding member of the Iowa Informer. He previously worked as a city reporter for the Ames Tribune, research assistant to investigative journalist Wayne Barrett at the Village Voice, and in various roles at Mother Jones, where his work contributed to a National Magazine Award nomination for the magazine's digital media coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Email: garonsen [at] iowainformer [dot] com.