Chuck Grassley steps down as chairman of Judiciary Committee clearing the way for prominent Trump supporter Lindsey Graham

Mr Graham was once a prominent critic of the president's but now is a fierce supporter

Clark Mindock
New York
@ClarkMindock
Saturday 17 November 2018 01:09
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Mr Grassley's departure leaves the path open for Mr Graham to take over his seat
Mr Grassley's departure leaves the path open for Mr Graham to take over his seat

Senator Chuck Grassley is stepping down as chairman of America's powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, potentially leaving it open to one of Donald Trump's key allies.

Once one of the US president's fiercest critics, Senator Lindsey Graham has recently championed his country's leader. He has previously stated he would like to lead the committee, were the vacancy to open up.

The committee is the first to review the president's choices for federal government and judicial posts, including the judges he would like to place on the Supreme Court.

In his year in office Mr Trump has pushed through a series of conservative judges to federal benches, including two justices onto that court, including controversial choice Brett Kavanaugh.

Mr Grassley has said that he would like to take over at the Senate Finance Committee which writes tax law. Retiring senator Orrin Hatch has recently vacated that seat.

The Judiciary Committee came under the spotlight during the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh, who was accused by at least three women of sexual misconduct.

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He denied those accusations, and was later confirmed to the bench.

Should Mr Graham become the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, then Mr Trump would have a powerful ally running the powerful legislative body.

During the Kavanaugh hearings, Mr Graham repeatedly chastised Democrats for the treatment of the nominee, and praised the candidate's career as a judge in the federal judiciary.

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