Grassley Statement On Kavanaugh’s Accuser (Updated)

Sen. Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released a statement today regarding Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and her allegations of an attack by Judge Brett Kavanaugh while they were teenagers. The statement below does a good job at being respectful to Ford, calling out Dianne Feinstein and the Democrats, and nailing those in the media who leaked Ford’s name. Grassley has always championed whistle blowers and he brings that credibility to this statement.

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley issued the following statement regarding the nomination of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

“Anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has deserves to be heard, so I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner.

“The standard procedure for updates to any nominee’s background investigation file is to conduct separate follow-up calls with relevant parties. In this case, that would entail phone calls with at least Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford. Consistent with that practice, I asked Senator Feinstein’s office yesterday to join me in scheduling these follow-ups. Thus far, they have refused. But as a necessary step in evaluating these claims, I’ll continue working to set them up.

“Unfortunately, committee Republicans have only known this person’s identity from news reports for less than 24 hours and known about her allegations for less than a week. Senator Feinstein, on the other hand, has had this information for many weeks and deprived her colleagues of the information necessary to do our jobs. The Minority withheld even the anonymous allegations for six weeks, only to later decide that they were serious enough to investigate on the eve of the committee vote, after the vetting process had been completed.

“It’s deeply disturbing that the existence of these allegations were leaked in a way that seemed to preclude Dr. Ford’s confidentiality.

“Over my nearly four decades in the Senate I have worked diligently to protect whistleblowers and get to the bottom of any issue. Dr. Ford’s attorney could have approached my office, while keeping her client confidential and anonymous, so that these allegations could be thoroughly investigated. Nevertheless, we are working diligently to get to the bottom of these claims.”

UPDATE: A special meeting is scheduled for Monday and both Ford and Kavanaugh will appear.

Judiciary Committee to Hear from Kavanaugh, Ford in Public Hearing

WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) today announced that the Committee will hold a public hearing with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.

“As I said earlier, anyone who comes forward as Dr. Ford has done deserves to be heard. My staff has reached out to Dr. Ford to hear her account, and they held a follow-up call with Judge Kavanaugh this afternoon. Unfortunately, committee Democrats have refused to join us in this effort. However, to provide ample transparency, we will hold a public hearing Monday to give these recent allegations a full airing,” Grassley said.

Below is the official notice for Monday’s hearing.


The Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing on the nomination of the Honorable Brett M. Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States will continue Monday, September 24, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 216 of the Hart Senate Office Building.
By order of the Chairman.

Project Gunwalker Makes It Into Loretta Lynch’s Confirmation Hearing

Project Gunwalker aka Operation Fast and Furious was mentioned today as the confirmation hearings for Loretta Lynch to become the 83rd Attorney General began. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) had this to say in his opening statement:

The Department’s own Inspector General listed as one of its top management challenges:
“Restoring Confidence in the Integrity, Fairness, and Accountability of the Department.”

He cited several examples, including the Department falsely denying basic facts in the Fast and
Furious controversy. The Inspector General concluded this “resulted in an erosion of trust in the

In that fiasco, our government knowingly allowed firearms to fall into the hands of international
gun traffickers.

And it led to the death of a Border Patrol Agent, Brian Terry.

And then, after Congress called on the leadership of the Department to account for this foolish
operation, what did they do?

Did they apologize to the family and rush to uncover the truth?

Quite the opposite.

They denied, spun and hid the facts from Congress and the American people.

They bullied and intimidated whistleblowers, members of the press, and anyone who had the
audacity to investigate and uncover the truth.

 You can listen to this in the live video of Lynch’s hearings at the 25:00 to 26:09 marks.

While it won’t bring back the lives of Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata, I’m glad Sen. Grassley at least hasn’t forgotten them and what was a proximate cause of their deaths.

Happening In Threes

It is often said that things, especially bad things, happen in threes. I wonder if that will be true of disclosures about Project Gunwalker.

The first thing that happened is that the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice released a report saying that former US Attorney for the District of Arizona Dennis Burke had leaked a sensitive document to the press with the intention of undermining the credibility of ATF Senior Agent John Dodson. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) blasted this in a release earlier today.

The second thing that happened was the revelation that the Department of Justice targeted two FoxNews reporters and one producer. While much of the attention is about their targeting of Fox’s Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen, what caught my attention was that they also targeted William LaJeunesse. You may remember that LaJeunesse was one of two mainstream reporters who reported extensively on Operation Fast and Furious.

I’m now wondering if we will soon find out that the DOJ was also targeting CBS’s  Emmy-award winning Investigative Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. She not only was the lead mainstream reporter on Project Gunwalker but has also made the White House’s shit list over her reporting on the Benghazi scandal.

You know I wouldn’t be surprised given the Obama Administration.

Grassley Proposal

Earlier today the National Shooting Sports Foundation sent out an Action Alert asking their members and supporters to push their Senators to vote against the Manchin-Toomey amendment and in favor of the Grassley proposal. Unfortunately, they didn’t explain the Grassley proposal nor was there a release on it from Senator Grassley.

It took a bit but I finally found some information on the Grassley proposal in the Washington Free Beacon. It is officially titled the “Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act of 2013”. Its sponsors include Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND).

Senators have been tight-lipped about the bill, but according to a fact-sheet obtained by the Free Beacon it would “reauthorize and improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, increase resources for prosecutions of gun crime, address mental illness in the criminal justice system, and strengthen criminal law by including straw purchasing and illegal firearm trafficking statutes.”

The bill would establish a high-level federal task force to increase prosecution of gun violence in the country. It would also create a nationwide version of Project Exile, which shifts prosecution of gun crimes from state to federal courts.

Additionally, the act would “reauthorize and improve” the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Federal courts would be required to submit relevant information to NICS, and it would “ensure relevant mental health records” are submitted by states.

The bill would also call for the study of mass shootings and limit the Justice Department’s ability to conduct gun trafficking stings like “Operation Fast and Furious.”

“Sen. Grassley, with Sen. Cruz, is considering an alternative that emphasizes support for the Second Amendment and might include fixing the NICS system, providing resources to help address mental health and school safety, protecting veterans from false health determinations and addressing gun trafficking and straw purchasing,” a spokeswoman for Grassley told the Free Beacon.

The replacement amendment seems to me to be an amalgamation of amendments dealing with the NICS system, mental health issues, gun trafficking, Second Amendment protections for veterans, ATF operations like Fast and Furious, and the lack of straw purchases prosecutions. Here is a link to a fact sheet on it.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) is also reported to be planning to offer a national right to carry reciprocity amendment to the S. 649.

Having read the fact sheet, I don’t see the words “background checks” except for FFLs who want to check on their employees unlike the Manchin-Toomey amendment which would mandate background checks for all guns sold at gun shows or through Internet and other classified advertising.

Of course, nothing gets my backing until I have read and studied the actual language of the amendment.

Mixed Results From Today’s Judiciary Committee Meeting

There is both good news and bad news from today’s Senate Judiciary Committee business meeting. The meeting agenda had votes on six nominees for US District Court judgeships and four gun control bills.

First, five out of the six the judicial nominees were passed out of committee on voice votes. However, Kenneth John Gonzales, the US Attorney for New Mexico and a nominee for a District Court judgeship, was held over. This would appear to mean that according to Committee Rules at least one member of the Judiciary Committee requested that the vote on Gonzales be held over until the next committee meeting. As I mentioned yesterday, Gonzales and his office have been pursuing a vendetta against the Reese family of Deming, New Mexico. Check out the Tea Party of Luna County for complete info on the prosecution of the Reeses.

Second, three of the four gun control bills were held over. The bad news is that Chairman Patrick Leahy’s S. 54 – Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 made it out of the committee. It passed on a 11 to 7 vote. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was the only Republican to vote for the bill.

Grassley did have an amendment to the bill that would require the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, or Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division to personally review and approve any “Fast and Furious” type of operation. This amendment was adopted unanimously.

The full results of the business meeting with links to the amendments is below:

The Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting to consider pending nominations and legislation on March 7, 2013. The Committee was not able to complete action on pending matters and the meeting recessed subject to the call of the Chair.


I. Nominations

Sheri Polster Chappell, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida
Ordered Reported by Voice Vote

Kenneth John Gonzales, to be United States District Judge for the District of New Mexico
Held Over

Michael J. McShane, to be United States District Judge for the District of Oregon
Ordered Reported by Voice Vote

Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Ordered Reported by Voice Vote

Luis Felipe Restrepo, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Ordered Reported by Voice Vote

Jeffrey L. Schmehl, to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Ordered Reported by Voice Vote

II. Legislation

S.150, Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 (Feinstein)
Held Over

Amendment ALB13141(Grassley)
As Amended, Adopted by Voice Vote

Second Degree Amendment ALB13196 (Coons)
Adopted by Unanimous Consent

Amendment ALB13190 (Grassley)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 9-9

Amendment OLL13115 (Cornyn)
Failed by Roll Call Vote, 9-9

S.54, Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act of 2013 (Leahy)
Ordered Reported by Roll Call Vote, 11-7

Substitute Amendment HEN13250 (Leahy)
Adopted by Unanimous Consent

Amendment ALB13193 (Grassley)
Adopted by Unanimous Consent

S.374, Protecting Responsible Gun Sellers Act of 2013 (Schumer)
Held Over

S.146, School Safety Enhancements Act of 2013 (Boxer)
Held Over

Request For DOJ IG To Investigate Zapata Murder

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News is reporting this afternoon that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have sent a letter to Michael Horowitz, the Department of Justice Inspector General, requesting that he investigate the murder of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent Jaime Zapata. The murder weapons used in Zapata’s death have been traced to guns that ATF allowed to be walked.

According to the letter, ATF may have had probable cause to arrest
two firearms dealers before they bought and trafficked a weapon used to
murder Zapata, who was on assignment in Mexico. “Only after Agent Zapata
was murdered…and one of the weapons was traced back” to suspect
Otilio Osorio “did ATF finally arrest Otilio, his brother and a third
suspect for their gun trafficking activity,” reads the letter.

investigators say ATF had earlier witnessed the Osorio brothers in a
Walmart parking lot providing 40 weapons with obliterated serial numbers
to be trafficked to Mexico. It was what’s known as a “controlled
delivery,” meaning law enforcement officials were monitoring the sale.
In this case it was part of a joint investigation with the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA). But “ATF failed to confront the two
individuals” leaving them to continue to allegedly traffic weapons,
including one used in Zapata’s killing, according to the letter.

The DOJ IG’s office is said to be reviewing the request.

Sen. Chuck Grassley On IG Report And Hearings

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was interviewed on Fox News this afternoon about the Inspector General’s report and the hearings into them. He said the report was fairly good. He attacked the Obama Administration’s claim of executive privilege. He noted that there was a lot of stuff covered under executive privilege that wasn’t even shared with the DOJ IG even though they are both in the executive branch. However, he said that the IG’s report did provide an opening as over 300 pages of documents previously sealed by the claim of executive privilege were used in the production of this report.

Grassley nails Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer over what he knew or should have known of Operation Fast and Furious and is disappointed that the report absolved Breuer.

Watch the latest video at

Grassley Statement On OIG Report

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) issued a statement today regarding the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General’s report on Operation Fast and Furious. He notes that much of what was contained in the report had already been reported by Sen. Grassley and Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Grassley noted that the wire tap applications still have not been made public nor have much of what was hidden under President Obama’s claim of executive privilege. Grassley called Obama’s actions “merely thumbing his nose” at Congress.

The full statement is below:

Senator Chuck Grassley, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on the
Judiciary, which has jurisdiction over the Justice Department, made the
following comment after the Inspector General for the Justice
Department released its long awaited report on Operation Fast and
Furious.  Grassley first began investigating alleged gunwalking in
January 2011 after whistleblowers came forward to alert Congress about
gunwalking in Arizona.  The Justice Department and Attorney General Eric
Holder initially denied gunwalking occurred.

“At first glance, the Inspector General’s report reaffirms virtually
everything that Congressman Issa and I have already reported.  Operation
Fast and Furious was the height of irresponsibility on the part of a
number of people from the ATF Phoenix field office all the way up to the
Justice Department headquarters.  And, we still don’t know the full
extent of any White House involvement because they refused to be
transparent and provide documents requested by the Inspector General.  

“It’s clear that both the ATF and the Justice Department failed to
provide meaningful oversight of Operation Fast and Furious.  They
ignored warnings from employees, and frankly, failed to do their jobs. 
It took the death of our own Border Patrol Agent, action by a courageous
whistleblower, and intense scrutiny from Congress before they even took
note of what was happening under their own eyes.  Even then, they
wouldn’t come clean with how bad it really was until after they had sent
a false letter and retracted it eight months later.

“It’s particularly discouraging that this all could have been stopped
early on if people had just read the wiretap applications.  The
Inspector General noted that anybody reading those documents should have
seen the red flags. The law requires that certain senior officials
authorize those applications, and the Inspector General found that they
did so without reading them.  I’m glad that the OIG is joining me and
Chairman Issa in urging the Justice Department to move to unseal the
wiretap applications so that the American people can read them and make
up their own minds.

“The President also appears to be abusing his authority to exert
executive privilege.  The White House rightly allowed the Inspector
General to make public a small subset of the documents withheld from
Congress under his claim of Executive Privilege, but it continues to
shut out Congress’ access to the rest of the documents.  It proves that
this subset of documents could have been released earlier, and the
President was merely thumbing his nose at Congress by claiming Executive
Privilege on the eve of the contempt vote against Attorney General
Holder for withholding the documents.

“It’s time to hold people accountable.  Attorney General Holder is out of excuses for action.

“We’ll be reading the report in more detail.  We’ve already noticed that
the report contains a factual error that lets Assistant Attorney
General Lanny Breuer off the hook.  The report accepts Breuer’s version
of events, claiming that he hadn’t “proposed edits, commented on the
drafts or otherwise indicated he had read them.”  In fact, emails show
that he received drafts of the February 4 letter and commented on them
before it was sent, which he later denied to Congress. 

“Last but not least, I hope the report helps answer questions for the
Terry family.  They deserve more answers than they’ve received up to
this point from their government.”

Grassley On Contempt Vote

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) had this to say about the House finding Attorney General Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress.

The House of Representatives today voted to enforce a subpoena to obtain records on Operation Fast and Furious by holding the U.S. attorney general in contempt of Congress. Sen. Chuck Grassley began investigating the circumstances of the death of border patrol agent Brian Terry 18 months ago after whistleblowers came to him with concerns. Grassley made the following comment on the House action.

“When a person dies in service to his country, and his own government may have contributed to his death, covered up evidence about the circumstances, or both, the survivors’ families and the American people have a right to know the truth. That was the case with Pat Tillman, and it’s the case with Brian Terry. The government should own up to any policies and practices that led to the harm of Mexican citizens as well. Those who don’t seem to want the truth or accountability default to accusations of political motivation against those seeking answers. Remember, the Justice Department insisted there was no gun-walking, then retracted that statement and reversed itself. The Justice Department is proven unreliable on this topic. The only way to try to get an accurate, complete account of what happened to Agent Terry and why is to obtain every possible record and account of the facts. We can only draw fair, informed conclusions from the complete facts. The fulfillment of the House’s pursuit of complete records from the Justice Department is necessary. Without it, we might never know what happened to Agent Terry. That can’t stand.”

Grassley Eviscerates Fortune Magazine Claims

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) doesn’t think much of the Fortune Magazine article by Katherine Eban. He released a memo to reporters and editors today that savages it. Given that Sen. Grassley was the first person in Congress to take Project Gunwalker seriously, he is more than a little pissed off at this 11th-hour “Empire Strikes Back” attempt to denigrate the investigation.


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: Fortune magazine piece on Fast and Furious
Da: Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Fortune magazine piece on Operation Fast and Furious is problematic in several respects. Sen. Chuck Grassley began investigating the circumstances of the death of border patrol agent Brian Terry 18 months ago after whistleblowers came to him with concerns. The following statement is from Grassley’s office. Supporting documents are available here.

“The Fortune piece conspicuously ignores the most important fact in this case: ATF encouraged cooperating dealers to sell guns to known traffickers. That fact is key to understanding how ATF made a strategic choice to track the guns instead of stop them. The central claim of the article, that there was nothing ATF could have done to stop the illegal sales, is simply incompatible with the evidence. If it is true that ATF could not interdict and seize weapons due to legal hurdles beyond its control, then ATF had no business telling gun dealers to go ahead with the sales.

“The Fortune article asks the reader to believe that sworn statements by whistleblowers who put their careers on the line to expose the truth for Brian Terry’s family are merely conspiratorial fabrications for the sole purpose of getting back at their boss. It asks the reader to believe that the ATF Director, the Attorney General, the White House, and Congress all fell victim to the fabrication and completely misinterpreted or misunderstood the thousands of pages of documents that corroborate the whistleblower allegations. The Justice Department retracted its previous denials of those allegations last December 2. If the Fortune article is accurate, the Justice Department’s December 2 retraction would itself be a false capitulation under political pressure aimed at protecting senior DOJ officials at the expense of ATF field office personnel in Arizona.

“The Fortune article inexplicably credits the self-serving statements of the supervisors in Arizona responsible for overseeing Fast and Furious. There is no explanation as to why, given their obvious motive to claim there was no gun-walking to save themselves from criticism and punishment. That’s why the written records, the interviews on the record, and obtaining and weighing all evidence is so important. We can only draw fair, informed conclusions from the facts.”

Fortune is a business magazine and ought to concentrate on business issues. Any credibility they may have had on business issues is now suspect in my opinion. If they are willing to put their name and reputation on Eban’s piece of junk research, what does that say about anything else they publish?