Grassley to block DOJ nominee over prisoner swap

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he would block one of President Obama’s nominees to the Department of Justice partially because of the controversial prisoner exchange.

“I’m sick and tried of the approach that this administration takes in following the law,” Grassley said on the Senate floor Monday.

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Grassley said the recent prisoner swap of five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo for U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl “exemplifies this administration’s contempt for congressional oversight.”

The White House was suppose to get congressional approval before making the exchange with the Taliban, which was holding Bergdahl prisoner. But the administration failed to do so, ruffling many feathers on Capitol Hill.

Grassley said the excuse that Bergdahl appeared to be in dire health was bogus and that it was instead a “deliberate attempt to leave senators in the dark” — something he said the Obama nominee has also done.

Peter Kadzik has been nominated to serve as assistant Attorney General for legislative affairs within the DOJ. He is currently serving in that role as active assistant AG.

Although Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has not yet brought Kadzik’s nomination to the floor, Grassley said he would oppose him because he has an “abysmal” record of answering Congress’ questions — a major function of his job.

“Mr. Kadzik is simply not interested in answering Congress’ questions unless he’s forced to or it’s absolutely necessary,” Grassley said on the Senate floor Monday. “This office needs leadership that will restore its credibility. … He does not have what it takes to restore that sorely needed credibility.”

Grassley serves as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the DOJ.