(R) Senator Chuck Grassley is blocking the appointment of William Evanina, an Obama appointee who was nominated by Trump to be director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center in an effort to probe and undermine Bob Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump Campaign and Russia.
“Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is blocking the confirmation of a nominee for a top government counterintelligence job in a bid to force the Justice Department to hand over sensitive material on the FBI’s Russian investigation. The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman’s hold is a result of GOP efforts to undercut Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and it has national security ramifications. The veteran intelligence official whose confirmation Grassley is blocking, William Evanina, acting director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, is considering leaving the post due to his inability to win Senate confirmation as permanent director, a Senate aide told Mother Jones. Grassley’s decision to block Evanina has irked members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who hold primary jurisdiction over the nomination.
“He ought to be confirmed soon,” Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) told Mother Jones. Burr said he has raised his concerns about the delay directly with Grassley.
in June, Grassley announced he would halt Evanina’s nomination from moving forward. He cited multiple reasons for his hold, including apparent references to Evanina in text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was fired by the bureau last month, and Lisa Page, a bureau attorney. The texts gained attention because Strzok, who investigated Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and briefly served on Mueller’s team, disparaged Trump in some of the messages. It’s not clear why Grassley found mentions of Evanina notable, but he insisted his committee needed “to more fully understand the meaning of the apparent references to Mr. Evanina” in the texts. The senator said he would block Evanina until he received “further context from him and the Justice Department.”
Evanina satisfied that part of Grassley’s request through a classified letter he sent the senator this summer, Grassley spokesman Taylor Foy said in an email. But Grassley is still holding up the nomination, because he wants information on the origins of the FBI’s investigation into contacts between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. The senator says Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein pledged to give him “equal access to materials DOJ and FBI are providing to the House and Senate Intelligence committees.” But the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, is barring release of the information to Grassley, “thereby impeding the committee’s oversight work,” Foy said in his email. Until that impasse is resolved, Grassley says he will keep blocking Evanina’s confirmation. According to the senator, his hold “is not intended to question the credentials of Mr. Evanina in any way.”
Dan Coats likely doesn’t trust Grassley with the information as he has worked hand in glove with Devin Nunes is his efforts to keep the drumpf’s lawyers appraised of the Mueller investigation’s progress.
Even Marco Rubio and Susan Collins are objecting.
Sure Grassley, you’ll rush through the confirmation of a Republican political operative who thinks birth control pills are ‘abortion inducing drugs” and perjures himself to a life appointment on our most important court, but delay filling a vital national security position in order to hinder the Trump/Russia probe.
Is that why you think Iowa’s voters sent you to the Senate?