Tags: Chuck Grassley | Comey | Transparent

Sen. Chuck Grassley: Comey Could Have Been More Transparent

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By    |   Tuesday, 21 Mar 2017 07:53 AM

FBI Director James Comey could have been more transparent with his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, Sen. Chuck Grassley said Tuesday morning, while insisting there is more Comey could have said without violating national security or revealing details about an agency investigation.

"There's so many accusations out there that the more that can be said, the better," the Iowa Republican, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, told CNN's "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo. "It will bring some more confidence, and so [I'm] basically calling for more transparency."

Grassley said that there also should be more talk about people who "committed the crime" of leaking national security information to the public, and that discussion should be getting equal time.

Cuomo argued that Grassley and and other Republicans did not have the same level of interest in leaks from the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, but Grassley said the anchor "got that mixed up."

"There was a time when in July, we felt Comey was maybe being applauded, but then, we didn't like what he did in July," said Grassley. "Then in October, we did, so maybe that's just a characteristic of what you consider to be of the most political value."

The issues have now coalesced into a more limited scope, said Grassley, and now, the talk should be about what influence Russia had on the 2016 presidential campaign, and what is going to be done about people leaking information from the White House.

The Russia issue, though, came out as the result of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court order in October, said Grassley, "so I don't know whether you can equate that with what went on the previous eight months of last year."

Grassley, though, said he couldn't get into whether he thinks President Donald Trump should apologize for his tweets accusing former President Barack Obama of being behind wiretapping at Trump Tower, as the question was based on the testimony offered from Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers.

"I can't answer your question, because I didn't have one eye on the television set all day yesterday in regard to the Comey investigation, so I can't go into any anything about that, that you're asking me about," said Grassley, who presided over the Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearings for Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch.

"Let me sum this up for you, I thought you wanted to talk about the Gorsuch nomination. I'm prepared to talk about that, I'm not prepared to talk about what you want to talk about, because that's not what you told me you want to talk about."

When it comes to the Gorsuch hearings, Grassley said his main concern is about people on the committee staying within their allotted times, so all the questioning can be done.

"Tomorrow people will have another full day with him with 20 minutes each, and I hope we get every issue covered and I hope that he shows he's going to be a judge and not a legislator," said Grassley.

"He made it very clear yesterday that he's got a very independent mind, that a role of a judge is to look at the law, looks at the facts of the case, leave the legislative writing to the legislature branch and let a referee or the let the judges be a referee over whether or not the Constitution is being followed."

Grassley said he suspects today's testimony will involve issues raised by Democrats that "somehow this judge is a big friend of big business and all that sort of stuff."

"If you go through the 154 decisions he wrote and another 65 that he was a co-author of, I think you're going to find out that he is sometimes for business and sometimes for the little guy, and he is pretty equal," said Grassley.

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FBI Director James Comey could have been more transparent with his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Monday, Sen. Chuck Grassley said Tuesday morning, while insisting there is more Comey could have said without violating national security...
Chuck Grassley, Comey, Transparent
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2017-53-21
Tuesday, 21 Mar 2017 07:53 AM
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