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Government

'Remember Kavanaugh' is Sen. Chuck Grassley's rallying cry in run-up to election

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks next to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) during the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaks next to Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) during the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

CEDAR RAPIDS — Sen. Chuck Grassley does not expect the bitter fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation to detract from the collegial workings of the Senate Judiciary Committee he chairs.

The process that resulted in a party-line committee vote to recommend Kavanaugh’s confirmation and a 50-48 floor vote was “fair and thorough,” according to Grassley, and set a new standard for transparency.

“I think the process itself does not detract from the collegiality that we ought to have,” he told Iowa reporters Wednesday. “I look to the future, so I’m going to do everything I can to promote that collegiality.”

However, the Iowa Republican does expect Kavanaugh’s confirmation to be used by both parties in the final four weeks of the midterm election campaign.

“My rallying cry for the next 28 days of this election is ‘remember Kavanaugh,’” he said Wednesday in an interview with radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

The opposition to Kavanaugh’s confirmation “has raised the specter that Kavanaugh will be a big issue between now and the election,” Grassley said. He predicted that could “cause real problems for the Democrats’ chances of taking over the House.”

Grassley, who is a champion of congressional oversight, said a Democratic takeover of the House likely would lead to an investigation into Kavanaugh with the intention of impeaching him.

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“I think they are going to go down a dead-end alley” because the chances Democrats find anything that would lead to impeachment “is not going to happen,” he said on his weekly call.

He hopes Republicans and everyone who voted for President Donald Trump realize that if there’s a Democratic majority in the House not only will there be talk of impeaching Kavanaugh, but the president as well.

Even if it doesn’t come to impeachment, Grassley told Hewitt, the president’s initiatives will effectively “come to a halt.”

“He’ll have a two-year Trump presidency,” Grassley said. “Unless he’s re-elected, that’s the end of it.

“So if you liked the victory of 2016, get behind Trump and vote for a Republican,” he said. “Otherwise, Trump is done.”

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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