President Donald J. Trump has been clear when it comes to his thoughts on Republicans in Washington D.C. who failed to stand for election integrity on Jan. 6. While the epicenter of the struggle for power in the GOP between Trump and the establishment wing of the Republican Party is the Wyoming race for Liz Cheney’s seat, Iowa will feature a race of interest as well.
Remember, the Hawkeye State is the only state in America with multiple Republicans in the U.S. House and a Republican in the U.S. Senate to not have a single member of Congress object to the 2020 Presidential Election results.
Senator Chuck Grassley is the senior member of the Iowa delegation. And, in addition to Grassley’s vote on Jan. 6 to certify what many to believe a fraudulent election, the six-term senator has said some harsh things about Trump.
With State Sen. Jim Carlin primarying Grassley, it will be interesting to see what — if anything — President Trump does.
One thing is certain, President Trump cannot possibly endorse Grassley based on everything Trump and Grassley have done and said since last November.
Remember, Grassley voted to certify the election on Jan. 6 and went out of his way to chastise the 45th President of the United States.
“Right now, there’s very little opportunity for (Trump) to lead the Republican Party,” Grassley said at a town hall in Newton.
At the same event, Grassley said he was “looking forward” to Joe Biden’s agenda.
Grassley voted against convicting Trump during his second impeachment trial, but said Trump displayed poor leadership leading up to the Jan. 6 demonstration at the U.S. Capitol.
In his Feb. 13 statement, Grassley said while the ultimate responsibility for the Jan. 6 crimes are on the shoulders of those who unlawfully entered the Capitol, “everyone involved must take responsibility for their destructive actions that day, including (President Trump).”
“As the leader of the nation, all presidents bear some responsibility for the actions that they inspire — good or bad,” Grassley said. “Undoubtedly, then-President Trump displayed poor leadership in his words and actions. I do not defend those actions and my vote should not be read as a defense of those actions.”
Grassley suggested the House Managers of impeachment “could have impeached” Trump over “many other articles,” but choose to charge him with inciting an insurrection.
“They didn’t meet their burden,” Grassley said of that charge. “Just because President Trump did not meet the definition of inciting insurrection does not mean that I think he behaved well.”
Grassley also has been explicit in his confidence of the election result.
“The reality is, (Trump) lost,” Grassley said. “He brought over 60 lawsuits and lost all but one of them. He was not able to challenge enough votes to overcome President Biden’s significant margins in key states. I wish it would have stopped there.
“It didn’t. President Trump continued to argue that the election had been stolen even though the courts didn’t back up his claims. He belittled and harassed elected officials across the country to get his way. He encouraged his own, loyal vice president, Mike Pence, to take extraordinary and unconstitutional actions during the Electoral College count. My vote in this impeachment does nothing to excuse or justify those actions. There’s no doubt in my mind that President Trump’s language was extreme, aggressive and irresponsible.”
Trump should have accepted Biden’s victory “when it became clear he won,” Grassley added.
Then, Grassley sent a letter to concerned constituents who emailed him about the election and Mike Lindell’s film Absolute Proof.
Grassley said he was aware of claims made by Lindell, but defended the alterations to the election process due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That said, the claims put forth by Mr. Lindell are false,” Grassley wrote. “There was no widespread conspiracy to deprive President Trump re-election through the manipulation of votes.”
Grassley said Trump associates “never produced evidence of vote manipulation in any court.”
Last week, Trump sent out an email focused on Senators Mike Lee and Lindsey Graham. He said Graham and Lee should be ashamed of themselves for not putting up the fight necessary to win in regards to the 2020 Presidential Election.
But it wasn’t just a shot at Graham and Lee.
“Mike Lee, Lindsey Graham and all of the other Republicans who were unwilling to fight for the Presidency of the United States, which would have included at least an additional four Republican Senators — two in Georgia, one in Michigan, one in Arizona — are letting Democrats get away with the greatest Election Hoax in history.”
Of course, Grassley is included in that club — as well as Sen. Joni Ernst and U.S. House members Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Randy Feenstra.
We also know that Grassley voted in support of Biden’s infrastructure bill — which bucked President Trump, who warned GOP Senators about supporting the bill.
“It is a loser for the USA, a terrible deal, and makes the Republicans look weak, foolish, and dumb,” he previously said. “It shouldn’t be done. It sets an easy glide path for Dems to then get beyond what anyone thought was possible in future legislation. … Don’t do it Republicans — Patriots will never forget! If this deal happens, lots of primaries will be coming your way!”
After the vote, Trump criticized GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell for not generating action on Trump’s infrastructure bill when he was President. Biden’s bill, Trump said, will be a “big victory for the Democrats.”
In addition, Trump has placed McConnell at the center of the power struggle between Trump Republicans and establishment Republicans. McConnell has an extraordinarily strong relationship with Grassley, endorsing him almost immediately.
Meanwhile, Carlin has been Trump’s most vocal supporter in the Iowa Senate. Carlin’s support for Trump earned him the title of “MAGA Conspiracy Theorist” from the Iowa Starting Line.
Little Village Magazine called Carlin a “hardcore Trump supporter.”
Carlin was one of two Iowa lawmakers who attended Lindell’s Cyber Symposium in Sioux Falls. He and Rep. Sandy Salmon, the other Iowa legislator who attended the Symposium, signed a letter requesting a 50-state forensic audit of the election last week.
Carlin was quick to call out the election irregularities. He called it the “fight of our generation” just days after Election Day.
“And the greatest travesty, why we allow mail-in ballots that cannot be verified,” Carlin said. “Why? Why would you get rid of state-mandated signatures? Why? Months before this election, that happened in Pennsylvania.
“Why forbid Republican observers from watching the ballot count? I’ll tell you why, this is planned. This whole thing was planned and orchestrated for months before it ever took place. We have to deal with that reality. We’re dealing with dishonest people who want to control and manipulate, define and shame us into silence and submission at the cost of our constitutional freedom and self-determination.”
While nearly everyone is expecting Grassley to breeze through this primary challenge, Trump’s involvement would truly shake up the race and could easily tilt things Carlin’s way.