Johnson, a Wisconsin Republican, said similarly during another radio interview this week that the evidence his committee had uncovered was so “wild” that “he should have completely disqualified Biden from the president.”
The Biden campaign called the comments clear evidence of what Democrats have all claimed: that Johnson’s investigation into allegations of corruption against the intelligence community and Biden’s diplomatic efforts in Ukraine were meticulously disguised attempts to arm the powerful Patriotic Security Committee. and the Government Affairs Committee to harm the Democratic presidential candidate.
“This sudden admission fully exposes Ron Johnson̵7;s shameful behavior is the definition of abuse,” said Biden spokesman Andrew Bates. “Beyond is more time for him to end this shameful and deeply unethical karate once and for all – as a number of his Republican Senate colleagues have long wanted.”
As Election Day approaches, Johnson has found himself surrounded by left and right, distrusted by some intelligence officials and faced with claims that his committee relied in part on information obtained by a Ukrainian lawmaker. which the American intelligence community has now considered a tool of an Attempt to interfere in the Russian elections. (Johnson says he received nothing from lawmaker Andrii Derkach). Johnson, who claims he was targeted by Democrats and the press, also pointed out in a radio interview Tuesday that he had some friction with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said he had ” sidestepped “him at one point during his investigation.
Asked about Johnson’s comment, McConnell’s aides said it would be up to Johnson to elaborate. A source close to Johnson said McConnell’s decision to eavesdrop on the Senate Intelligence Committee to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election – combined with lengthy investigation by Special Adviser Robert Mueller – “made obtaining documents and information very difficult “. The source noted that McConnell had expressed general support for the intent of the remarks to former Obama administration officials.
In short, Johnson increasingly finds himself on an island as he heads a busy political investigation less than 100 days before the election. The contours of his investigation are a bit vague, overlapping with a similar investigation into alleged abuses of the intelligence community by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, even as Johnson vows to ramp up it and release a report. full of his findings in September.
Johnson’s probe examines allegations of corruption within the US intelligence community during the Obama administration’s ousting of President Donald Trump, as well as allegations of abuse by intelligence community officials stemming from the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the election. 2016, known as the Crossed Hurricane.
Johnson has stressed that the overlap of his investigation with Graham is another reason he has not followed some lines of investigation. Graham is pursuing allegations of abuse by the FBI in its investigation into Trump 2016 campaign contacts with Russia. That overlap became particularly apparent this week: Johnson resigned from the FBI on Monday, seeking all records related to the Crossfire Hurricane and accusing Director Chris Wray of building stones for his investigation.
On Thursday, however, Graham issued a statement insisting that Wray “is committed to being helpful – in an appropriate way – by balancing the privacy needs of Bureau staff with public transparency for the benefit of the American people.” Graham did not mention Johnson’s sentence and noted that Wray had vowed to share the information with his committee.
Trump has repeatedly encouraged investigations into former President Barack Obama, claiming without evidence that Obama committed serious crimes against the incoming Trump administration. Trump called the alleged “Obamagate” scandal, but did not provide details to support claims that Obama committed any wrongdoing.
Johnson is also pursuing widely discredited allegations that Biden planned to oust a Ukrainian prosecutor to protect his son Hunter from a corruption probe. At the time, Hunter was serving on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, a conflict that some Obama-era officials said presented a show of conflict of interest even if they saw no evidence of wrongdoing.
A number of State Department officials told Congress during the indictment proceedings against Trump that Ukraine’s top prosecutor at the time, Viktor Shokin, was an obstacle to anti-corruption efforts, and Biden’s push to remove him was part of the US government’s efforts. and the international community to root out bad actors in Ukraine. The ouster of Shokin made it more likely – not least – that Burisma would face a serious investigation, witnesses said.
Recent reports of right-wing anger that Johnson’s probe did not go that far came during a controversial radio interview Wednesday with usually-friendly Conservative host Hugh Hewitt, who told Johnson he had “failed” at his investigation by rejecting key Obama-era sentences like FBI Director James Comey and CIA Director John Brennan. During an occasional 10-minute heated exchange, Johnson attributed his pace to resistance from many Republicans on his committee, whom he said could block him from issuing leaflets.
But Johnson’s office later acknowledged that was not the case – Republicans on the committee already voted to empower Johnson to call for Brennan, Comey and others during a business meeting in June. Rather, aides said Johnson had chosen against issuing leaflets because he wanted to exhaust efforts to obtain documents and seek voluntary cooperation from witnesses.
Aides to the Wisconsin Republic declined to discuss the status of these negotiations, but a source familiar with the investigation indicated that Brennan had not been contacted by the committee for the prospect of voluntary testimony. A source close to Johnson, however, indicated that the trial panel is in talks with a “dozens or more” witnesses linked to the Ukraine investigation and that interviews are scheduled.
“The committee is going through the document-building process and a schedule for additional interviews in an organized manner,” the source said.
Johnson has faced attack from his party. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah has criticized the investigation for appearing extremely political, although he later objected and approved of Johnson’s interrogation authority, saying he was given assurances that witness interviews would be held behind closed doors. closed to avoid a political spectacle.
Johnson focused on his critics earlier this week with an 11-page letter, accusing Democrats and the unknown media of trying to drop his investigation into Russian disinformation allegations while being guilty of self-dissemination.
“The very transparent purpose of their disinformation campaign and the concern raised is to attack our character in order to marginalize the eventual findings of our investigation,” Johnson wrote. “They’re executing the same show, from the same playbook they’ve been using for the last three and a half years.”
Asked about the attacks on his investigation during a radio interview Tuesday with a conservative host in Wisconsin, Johnson made a more perfect point: “It’s a concerted effort to destroy me.”