Hillary Clinton on Monday called on Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa to “step up and do his job,” just hours after he warned the former secretary of state that law enforcement was coming for her.
“He should hold a hearing, and he should schedule it as soon as the Senate returns from recess,” Clinton said during a campaign stop at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, referencing Grassley’s role as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the confirmation process for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
In an interview with Politico earlier in the day, Grassley brushed off Clinton’s comments as an effort to evade talking about news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly going to begin questioning Clinton’s aides, and eventually Clinton herself, about her use of a private server as secretary of state.
“With all the troubles she’s getting on email, and the FBI’s going to question her, I would imagine she’d want to change the tone of her campaign,” Grassley told Politico.
“This is simply a blatant attempt by Secretary Clinton to politicize the Supreme Court and to change the conversation after a damaging story about her in The Washington Post,” Grassley said, referring to a Monday report in that publication. The paper reported that as many as 147 FBI agents are involved in the investigation of the server that Clinton kept in her basement as secretary of state.
Democrats have been pressuring Republicans to hold confirmation hearings on Garland, President Obama’s appointee to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia. The effort comes at the same time as the FBI’s investigation of Clinton is heating up. The bureau’s interviews indicate the closing stage of its investigation is approaching, as it seeks to piece together information and produce a recommendation on whether to issue an indictment.
Republicans have said it should be up to the next president to appoint Scalia’s replacement. But as of Monday, Grassley suggested, Clinton’s chances looked bleak.
“It’s no wonder Secretary Clinton doesn’t want to let the American people have a voice in the direction of the Supreme Court,” Grassley said.