Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says a new report on how the federal court system handles sexual harassment is “totally unacceptable.”
The report was commissioned after a federal judge retired in December of 2017 following multiple allegations of sexual misconduct. Grassley says he’d hoped the report, released on Monday, would provide a concrete blueprint for accountability. He says it didn’t.
“The report lacked very serious proposals and, in a sense, just kind of kicked the can down the road,” Grassley says. Grassley says his office is working with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts on a path to prevent future harassment and to hold accountable those who are responsible.
“The federal judiciary is the only federal entity without clear guidelines on how to handle harassment complaints,” Grassley says, “and it doesn’t have an independent watchdog to guard against misconduct like congress and the executive branch has.”
Grassley chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee and is calling for a hearing before the panel next week to address the issue of harassment in the federal court system.
Senator Grassley is also weighing in on whether a sitting U.S. president can and should be able to legally pardon himself. Grassley, who’s quick to remind he’s not an attorney, says it’s a “common sense answer” as the special counsel probes the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in 2016.
Grassley says, “If I were president of the United States and some lawyer advised me that I could be above the law and take the law into my own hands and be my own judge, I’d get a new lawyer.”
President Trump issued a tweet on Monday, saying he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself, but adds, “why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?”