Sunday's editorial, “With Comey out, Grassley’s independence will be tested,” in the Quad-City Times is a highly selective reading of my statements and oversight work. There’s no mention of the fact that with the ranking member of my Judiciary Committee, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, I sought and received a briefing from the FBI on the events leading up to Michael Flynn’s removal as national security adviser. The briefing happened only after I withheld consideration of President Trump’s nominee for deputy attorney general until the briefing took place. That’s far from the actions of someone carrying water for the president. My comments calling for an FBI director who’s independent from President Trump made headlines. The editorial recognized none of this.
I just led a bipartisan letter calling on the FBI to provide the Judiciary Committee with all memos relating to former FBI Director Comey’s interactions with his superiors in both the Trump and Obama administrations. The bipartisan effort also called on the White House to provide records of interactions with former Director Comey, including any audio recordings.
The editorial overlooks my work for years to stop the rampant fraud, abuse and national security weaknesses in the EB-5 visa program, in the face of well-organized opposition, long before the latest news stories about interest in the program from the family of President Trump’s son-in-law, and continuing amid news of interest in the program from the Kushner family.
The editorial overlooks the letter I sent with a Republican committee chairman in the House of Representatives, criticizing a recent memo from the leadership of the Department of Health and Human Services instructing employees to inform the agency before communicating independently with Congress. The letter called the memo potentially illegal and unconstitutional.
These are just a few of many examples of independent judgment and the exercise of the constitutional responsibility of oversight from one co-equal branch of government of another. The legislative branch should conduct oversight of the executive branch regardless of which parties are in control. That’s what I’ve always done, and that’s what I’ll continue to do. Contrary to the editorial’s inaccurate contention, the only water carried around here is for the people of Iowa and the taxpayers at large.