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U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is blasting House Democrats who have opened an impeachment inquiry for being “blinded by partisan hatred” of President Donald Trump.

“You can quote me on that,” the Iowa Republican responded when asked whether his party was “blinded by partisan worship” of Trump and “refuses to put country above politics.”

Grassley, who said he read the entire rough transcript of Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, went on to accuse Democrats of hypocrisy for not holding former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden to the same standards they are for Trump. And he blamed the news media for a lack of attention to Biden’s actions while in office over corruption in Ukraine — where Biden’s son Hunter served on an oil company’s board of directors.

However, Grassley said he was encouraged by reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she wants to continue working with the president on issues such as lowering prescription drug prices.

“That’s good news to me,” said Grassley, who as Senate Finance chairman has been pushing his own plan for lowering drug prices. Based on media reports, “you draw the conclusion that the Democrats are blinded to do anything policy-wise. Hopefully they won’t.”

So far, at least, Grassley doesn’t think Congress is consumed by the impeachment inquiry.

“It isn’t something that we are not sleeping at night worrying about,” he said.

He went on to say impeachment seldom comes up in conversations he has with Iowans.

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“You go to my town meetings in Iowa you don’t hear this talk about impeachment,” Grassley said. “People want to know about USMCA, China trade. What are we going to do about the floods? We need more FEMA funds.

“That’s what Iowans are telling me. So it’s kind of astonishing to me how I get these questions out here and I don’t get them from my constituents,” he said.

Grassley expects these impeachment proceedings to be different from those of President Bill Clinton and President Richard Nixon.

“Nixon was obstructing investigation and participating in, indirectly, a crime of cover up and Clinton lied under oath, which is a crime,” he said. “And the president has not been accused of any of that.”

Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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