U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley’s reputation as a defender of whistleblowers and government oversight has taken a hit lately, as President Donald Trump sidelined five inspectors general over a span of two months and rebuffed the senator’s demand for an explanation.
In an escalation of sorts, Grassley announced on June 4 that he would hold up two of Trump’s nominees until the White House complies with federal law requiring that the president explain in writing why he removed inspectors general.
The senator might have some leverage if he were willing to block high-priority nominees for the administration. But the opposite is true. The same day Grassley took a stand on inspectors general, he and Iowa’s Senator Joni Ernst advanced yet another unqualified judicial nominee.