Republican Senator Chuck Grassley today said he “disagrees” with Donald Trump’s comments about a federal judge, but Grassley said he doesn’t “know the facts of the case.”
Trump has complained the judge overseeing a lawsuit against “Trump University” cannot be fair because of the judge’s Mexican heritage.
“There is plenty of things I can recommend going through a judicial process, that we can question whether a judge can be removed from a case and that’s what anybody ought to do, I think, because you are entitled to have an impartial judge before you,” Grassley said.
The Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate said instead of “condemning Trump’s racist attacks on a highly-qualified” judge, Grassley “kisses Trump’s ring” with these comments. Grassley, a long-time member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who is now the panel’s chairman, voted to confirm the judge Trump has complained about.
“This judge was voted out of judiciary committee on a voice vote and on the senate floor by a voice vote, so obviously I supported him at that time,” Grassley said.
Trump says the judge, who was born in Indiana, is biased because his parents were from Mexico. Other Republican senators have used words like “unAmerican” and “wrong” to describe Trump’s remarks. Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska said Trump’s tirades against the judge are the “literal definition” of racism. During a telephone news conference with Iowa reporters this morning, Grassley was asked for his reaction to Trump’s comments.
“I can only tell you what I would do in a like situation and I wouldn’t say what Trump said,” Grassley said. “On the face of it, I disagree with Trump’s assessment, but I’ve also got to tell you I don’t know the facts of the case and whether there’s some disagreement.”
In response to a reporters’ question, Grassley said ethnicity should not “disqualify” a judge from hearing a case.
“A person’s got to be judged as a person, not on their ethnic background,” Grassley said.
But Grassley suggested this controversy involving Trump and the judge is not an issue of major concern to Iowans.
“I think Iowans, as I can tell from my town meetings, aren’t very concerned about this,” Grassley said. “They’re more concerned about economic security and jobs and getting this economy turned around.”
AUDIO from Grassley conference call with Iowa reporters.
The Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate today said Grassley needs to “stop using the senate judiciary committee as an extension of the Trump campaign.” Nevada Senator Harry Reid said when federal judges are “under assault,” the chairman of the Judiciary Committee should “rise above politics and condemn racism.”