DES MOINES — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it’ll likely be a long while before any assessments can be made about the latest legal challenge facing former President Donald Trump, who drew large crowds during his weekend campaign visit to the Iowa State Fair. Trump and 18 of his supporters were indicted Monday in Georgia over their alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in that state.
“Well, it’s very difficult to make any judgment about that because it was just released,” Grassley says. “Can you believe it? They put it on the internet before they notified any of the people that were being charged. I guess then they had a live news conference because they were embarrassed about that.”
Another indictment was handed down last week in federal court in Washington D-C by special counsel Jack Smith, regarding allegations Trump mishandled top secret documents after he left the White House. Grassley, a Republican who’s long advocated for cameras in federal courtrooms, was asked if he’d like to see the proceedings in that case be televised. “I am for cameras in the courtroom, but I think it ought to be more general application and a policy of all the courts, not just for something, because we need transparency of the federal court system generally,” Grassley says, “but just to do it on an ad hoc basis? I don’t go along with that.”
Legal challenges also continue to swirl around President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Late last week, Delaware U-S Attorney David Weiss was appointed as special counsel in the investigation of the Bidens’ international business dealings. Grassley says he takes great exception to Weiss as the choice. “Even though I asked for a special counsel, along with some of my colleagues, maybe a year or so ago, so we get a special counsel, we ought to be satisfied,” Grassley says, “but I think the regulations require that it be somebody outside of the Department of Justice.”
Despite assurances Weiss had full authority and independence to pursue all the facts, Grassley says whistleblowers and a “botched sweetheart plea deal” told a much different story. Given that plea deal negotiated by the U-S Attorney from President Biden’s home state, Grassley says it’s clear Weiss isn’t the right person for the job. “Plus the fact he’s been doing it for five years, and just think, after five years, they get a plea agreement that falls through,” Grassley says. “It’s too close to the Bidens to accept Weiss to be the special counsel.”
Grassley says the F-B-I and the Justice Department have had “glaring evidence of criminality” involving the Biden family’s business ventures since at least 2019.