Iowa Senator Calls For A Delay To Garcetti's Ambassadorship
U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wants to delay Eric Garcetti's nomination as U.S. Ambassador to India, pending his office's investigation into whether the Los Angeles mayor ignored alleged sexual misconduct by a former top advisor.
Politico reporter Chris Cadelago, who broke the story, reports that Grassley — the highest ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee — sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying that his office has been in contact with people who "have not previously spoken to the Foreign Relations Committee and are presenting new allegations that must be fully investigated."
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted in January to advance Garcetti’s nomination to the full Senate, where he awaits a vote.
"Certainly, it could have the effect of slowing things down, forcing Democrats to use more floor time in the Senate to push this through," Cadelago said. "And I think it's kind of a test of how loyal President Biden is to Eric Garcetti, who was a very early supporter of the President."
In a statement, a Garcetti spokesperson said:
"The Mayor has testified under oath multiple times, including before the U.S. Senate, and stands by his testimony unequivocally: he absolutely did not witness nor was he informed of any of the behavior being alleged ... had he been aware of any such behavior, he absolutely would have acted to stop it."
Garcetti's accused former aide, Rick Jacobs, has denied the allegations against him brought by an LAPD officer who was part of Garcetti's security detail. Two former Garcetti communications staffers have given depositions under oath, saying that Garcetti was aware of Jacobs' behavior.
One of those former staffers, one-time Director of Communications Naomi Seligman, has demanded that Garcetti be prosecuted for continually lying under oath regarding the allegations against Jacobs.
Reached by LAist on Thursday, Seligman said she has spent months talking to media and "important leaders" about what the mayor knew regarding the allegations. She said she's grateful to Senator Grassley for taking action.
"[Garcetti] right now is nominated to a country that has some of the worst gender violence in the world," Seligman said. "He will have a staff of over 2000 people, and he does not have the judgment, lens or values to run that staff. He does not have the judgment, lens or values to represent our country."