Mike Franken raises a good question: What did Sen. Chuck Grassley know on Jan. 5 when he said that Vice President Mike Pence might not be in attendance to preside over certifying the presidential election vote on Jan. 6? Grassley has denied knowing anything about efforts to pressure Pence into somehow scotching the vote in the Senate — a plan that the president’s own advisors knew was illegal.
“Well, first of all, I will be — if the vice president isn’t there and we don’t expect him to be there, I will be presiding over the Senate,” Grassley told reporters on Jan. 5 regarding his role as Senate president pro tem.
Earlier, Grassley acknowledged that Joe Biden had been duly elected president.
A memo to Rudy Giuliani suggested that Grassley or another senior Republican senator should preside over the certification process, and not Pence. Grassley denies that he was ever approached about any scheme but he did say that challenges to the process would be considered.
These statements are confusing and deserve further clarification by Grassley.
Grassley has not explained, to our knowledge, what he meant to suggest when he said that he did not expect Pence to show up.
Franken surely will not let go until Grassley addresses what happened leading up to the insurrection. It’s an interesting topic that will engage independents who voted for Grassley all these years, but who have grown weary and now skeptical of him.