Donald Trump is — almost literally — under attack from all sides, and some Republicans have opted to pile on instead of standing with Trump.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) chose now to flip to the left because of an ongoing dispute over Trump’s firing of former State Department inspector general Steve Linick in mid-May.
After Trump abruptly removed Linick from his post, Democrats exploded in anger, accusing Trump of “another apparent act of retaliation and cover-up,” as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) put it. Of course, Democrats conveniently ignored the fact that Linick himself had been under investigation because he had developed a “pattern of unauthorized disclosures, or leaks.”
Grassley, who is the president pro tempore of the Senate, announced that he will block the confirmation of Trump’s nominations of the National Counterterrorism Center director and undersecretary of state for arms control and international security until the White House releases more information about the decision to remove Linick.
“Congress has made it clear that should the president find reason to fire an inspector general, there ought to be a good reason for it,” Grassley said, adding that Americans should not be “left speculating whether political or self-interests are to blame. That’s not good for the presidency or government accountability.”
Democrats were also furious about Trump’s April decision to fire former intelligence community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, worked with House Democrats to launch the Democrat’s failed impeachment push. Grassley appears to have sided with Democrats on their calls for investigation into Atkinson’s firing as well.
Grassley ramped up his attacks on Trump on Friday, tweeting that “I’m placing holds on 2 Trump Admin noms until I get reasons 4firing 2 agency watchdogs as required by law Not 1st time I’ve raised alarm when admins flout IG protection law Obama did same& got same earfull from me All I want is a reason 4 firing these ppl CHECKS&BALANCES.”
Donald Trump, who is dealing with the widespread civil unrest sweeping the nation, has yet to respond to Grassley’s demands.