HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Got a response from Sen G...

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 08:33 PM

Got a response from Sen Grassley...

Albeit 2 weeks late regarding his impeachment vote. Its a long read, but here it is...(im sure its a form letter sent to everyone that asked him to vote country over party he even embedded a nice little video!! Lol)....


Thank you for taking the time to contact me with your thoughts on the impeachment of President Donald Trump. As your senator, it is important for me to hear from you. 

The question of whether or not to impeach and remove a duly elected public official, in this case the President of the United States, is an extremely serious one that was contemplated by the Framers and addressed in the Constitution. Article II, Section 4 of the Constitution provides that "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." Those are the sole bases for impeachment.

On December 18, 2019, the House of Representatives voted to adopt two articles of impeachment against President Trump. The first article provided that President Trump should be removed from office for “abuse of power,” and the second article provided that he should be removed from office for “obstruction of Congress.” Unfortunately, this marks perhaps the most partisan impeachment in the history of the United States. In fact, the only bipartisanship the American people witnessed during the House’s vote stood opposed to impeachment.

The Framers of the Constitution warned against using impeachment as a partisan weapon. They were rightly concerned that impeachment would be determined by the strength of political parties instead of by real demonstrations of innocence or guilt. But that’s one reason why the Framers didn’t leave impeachment solely in the hands of the House of Representatives.

On Wednesday, February 5, 2020, following a full and fair 11-day trial in the Senate, I voted to acquit the President of the impeachment charges brought against him by the House of Representatives.

As I explained in my recent statement on the floor of the Senate, which you can view here (), a vote to convict or acquit the President on charges of impeachment is perhaps the most important vote a senator could cast. Before this presidential impeachment trial, it had happened only twice in our Nation’s history. That’s for good reason, and it’s something that should never be done lightly. Accordingly, I took my role as a judge and juror seriously.

The impeachment trial began with a full and fair debate on the rules that guided our process. We considered and voted on 11 amendments for over nearly 13 hours. Consistent with precedent, the Senate adopted rules allowing the same length of time for arguments and questions as was agreed to unanimously in 1999, and it engaged in a robust debate on calling witnesses and pursuing additional evidence. In total, the Senate sat as a Court of Impeachment for over 70 hours. The final vote to acquit the President was the product of a fair and judicious process, consistent with precedent.

I couldn’t say the same of the articles of impeachment adopted by the House. After fully considering the record and the parties’ presentations, I concluded that what the House was asking the Senate to do is constitutionally flawed and dangerously unprecedented.

First, the House’s “abuse of power” article described objectively legal conduct. A president is within his authority to request that a foreign leader assist with anti-corruption efforts. To make up for this hurdle, the House’s argument rested entirely on the President’s subjective motive. This is a vague, flexible standard that cannot be sustained. Under such a standard, future majorities in the House of Representatives could impeach presidents for taking lawful action for what a slim majority thinks are simply the wrong reasons.

The House argued that motive by itself is sufficient to prove the illegality of an action. But this flips basic concepts in our justice system upside down, and represents an unprecedented expansion of the scope of the impeachment authority. With limited exception, motive is offered in court to show that the defendant on trial is the one who most likely committed the illegal act that’s been charged—it doesn’t make an otherwise lawful act unlawful.

The House also provided no guidance on whether conviction—and therefore removal from office—should rest on proving a single, “corrupt” motive, or whether mixed motive would suffice under their theory. In its trial brief, the House argued that there’s “no credible alternative explanation” for the President’s alleged conduct. But once the Senate heard from the President’s Counsel, the House changed its tune. Apparently, even a credible alternative explanation shouldn’t stop the Senate from removing the President.

Re-shaping their own standard mid-trial, however, only served to undercut their initial arguments. And simply asserting at least 63 times that their evidence was “overwhelming” didn’t make the House’s allegations accurate or prove an impeachable offense.

Even after arguments had concluded, the House managers started repeating the terms “bribery” and “extortion” on the floor of the Senate, while neither appears anywhere in the articles. It’s not the Senate’s job to read into the House’s articles what the House failed, or didn’t see fit, to incorporate itself. As I made clear, articles of impeachment shouldn’t be moving targets. The ambiguities surrounding the House’s “abuse of power” theory gave me reason enough to vote “not guilty.” If we’re going to lower the bar of impeachment, we better be clear on where the bar is being set.

Second, the House’s article for “obstruction of Congress” was equally unprecedented and patently frivolous. I know a thing or two about obstruction by the Executive Branch. Congressional oversight—rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse—is central to my role as a senator representing Iowa taxpayers. In the face of obstruction, I use the tools the Constitution provides to this institution. That’s the very core of checks and balances.

For example, I fought the Obama administration to obtain documents related to “Operation Fast and Furious.” Under the House’s “obstruction” standard, should President Obama have been impeached for his failure to waive privileges during the course of that investigation? We fought President Obama on this for three years in the courts, and we still didn’t end up with all we asked for. We never heard a word from the House Majority then. So, the hypocrisy here is on full display.

In this impeachment, the House issued a series of requests and subpoenas to the Executive Branch. But the House failed to enforce its requests. When challenged to stand up for its subpoenas in court, the investigating committee simply retreated. The House may cower at defending its own authority, but the Senate shouldn’t have to clean up a mess of the House’s own making. For the many ways in which the House failed in the fundamentals of oversight, and for the terrible new precedent the “obstruction” article would’ve set, I voted “not guilty.”     

There’s also been debate about the whistleblower whose complaint motivated the House’s impeachment inquiry. Now, I’ve worked for and with whistleblowers for more than thirty years. I’ve sponsored numerous laws to strengthen whistleblower protections. Attempts by anyone to “out” a whistleblower just to sell an article or score a political point aren’t helpful. It’s not the treatment any whistleblower deserves. 

However, it’s important for investigators to talk to whistleblowers, to evaluate their claims and credibility, because those claims form the basis of an inquiry.  My office does this all the time. When whistleblowers bring us significant cases of bipartisan interest, we frequently work closely with the other side to look into those claims. I know the House committees have followed that course in the past. Both parties understand how to talk to whistleblowers and respect their confidentiality. But why no efforts were taken in this case to take these very basic, bipartisan steps is baffling. I fear that, to achieve its desired ends, the House majority weaponized and politicized whistleblowers for purely partisan purposes. I hope that the damage done will be short lived. 

Furthermore, as a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I’ve always made it a priority to hold judicial nominees to a standard of restraint and fidelity to the law. As judges in this case, we too needed to consider those factors which counseled restraint. To begin with, the articles came to the Senate as the product of a flawed, unprecedented and partisan process. The House Majority’s inquiry ignored many of the procedural rights that were given to the investigating Committee’s minority in previous impeachments. When the articles were voted on by the full House, the only bipartisanship was in opposition. 

Moreover, the Iowa caucuses have already occurred. The 2020 presidential election is underway. Yet we were asked to remove the incumbent from the ballot, based on an impeachment supported by only one party in Congress.

The Senate refused to endorse the dangerous new precedent this would’ve set for future impeachments.

Finally, I want to briefly address the issue of witnesses. Over the span of two weeks, the Senate conducted a fair and thorough examination of the House’s articles of impeachment and supporting materials. That includes more than 28,500 pages of evidence, interviews with 17 witnesses and 192 video clips. The House managers themselves argued that the evidence they provided was “overwhelming” and “uncontested.” Accordingly, the Senate did not need to take the unprecedented step of hearing from witnesses that were not already part of the House’s record.

Now that this impeachment trial has drawn to a close, the American people are more than adequately prepared to decide for themselves the fate of the President in November.

This decision belongs to the People.

Once again, thank you for taking time to contact me. I urge you to keep in touch. 

Sincerely,

Chuck Grassley
United States Senate

4 replies, 547 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Got a response from Sen Grassley... (Original post)
Squidly Feb 2020 OP
Frustratedlady Feb 2020 #1
rurallib Feb 2020 #2
Squidly Feb 2020 #3
struggle4progress Feb 2020 #4

Response to Squidly (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 08:38 PM

1. Nice to see he has actually done something in the last year.

He's been pretty darned scarce, to put it mildly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Squidly (Original post)

Fri Feb 14, 2020, 10:04 PM

2. I always figure after the Grass staff gets a bunch of letters on a similar issue

they pick a couple of the lowest staffers to write a long, dry, boring response that makes it sound like Chuckles gives a shit.

These responses are usually peppered with references to some bullshit Fox talking point and some "behind the scene" peek into just how deliberative your servant Charles is. Such letter is then compiled into a whole that will be sent out to all who wrote in about "impeachment."

I got sucked into actually thinking Chuck cared at one point. Then I realized he doesn't care one whit. The real challenge of their response is to not say something that will end up going viral on twitter or make a great LTTE to the DMR.

When I write Grass, I figure there is a 50/50 chance of getting a reply and less than that that the reply will have anything to do with what I wrote. Since I never save my emails, by the time I get a response I have no idea what it was about.

Two weeks is good turn around for that group. I am guessing mine are usually 4+ weeks.

I doubt Grassley ever sees any of our emails or hears any calls. While we pour our hearts into trying to convince him of our great stands, his staff looks at it for 10 seconds and put a check mark under for or against on a piece of paper. I assume emails are probably then archived to cover their asses.

I still write on a big occasion but have learned to not expect any magic nor probably even a response.

ETA - just thinking of Grass sets off a very negative response in me. Sorry of I said anything to offend you.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rurallib (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 15, 2020, 12:51 AM

3. Oh not at all!

I was just really surprised I even got this obviously canned response. I know he really doesnt give a crap about anything but his job...which he only keeps cause he does SOOOOO much for the farmers...cough, cough.
At least he or his staff put the effort out, which is more I can say about his counterpart.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Squidly (Original post)

Sat Feb 15, 2020, 01:53 AM

4. "When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal"

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread