Today, Chairman Chuck Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee accused Democrats within the committee of using tactics to shut down hearings on attempts by foreign agents to influence American laws and elections. Today, Senator Grassley issued a statement:
Over the last few weeks, my Democrat colleagues have delayed and blocked Judiciary Committee hearings, shuttered a national security briefing and now cut off a hearing about interference in our political system by agents working for foreign powers.
I don’t know if the minority is intentionally trying to block testimony that may be critical of a firm behind the unverified Trump dossier, but I’ll bet two bits that had Paul Manafort or Donald Trump, Jr. appeared at today’s hearing, it would not have been prematurely shut down. The Democrat leadership is playing politics, plain and simple. But our national security and our democratic systems are no game. So we will reconvene tomorrow to get more of the information we need.
Over the past several weeks, Democrats have been using tactics via a rarely-used procedural tool to curb committee work for hearings. This included blocking a hearing on June 20, which would have advanced the committee's investigation into Russian interference in last year's elections -- something that the Democrats have been clamoring about for months.
Even this week, the Judiciary Committee withdrew the subpoena it issued to Paul Manafort regarding enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and attempts to influence U.S. elections. This was done after Manafort began the process of handing over documents to the committee and "committed to negotiating in good faith a date for a future interview."
It's a shame that despite the Democrat's attacks about the Russian interference in last year's election, that they block committee hearings on this very topic, despite Republican's willingness to continue this investigation.