NYT: Ron Johnson Accused Of Using Russian Disinformation To Smear Biden
Congressional Democrats warned in a letter of a potential foreign disinformation plot in an attempt to interfere with the presidential election and Congressional activities, according to The New York Times.
- The letter writers, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while not specifying the threat directly, hinted at concerns of a Russian-backed attempt at slandering Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.
- Per the report, Democrats “contend that the Russian-linked information is being funneled to a committee headed by Senator Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican who is investigating Mr. Biden and his son, who was once paid as a board member of a Ukrainian energy company.”
- The Times also noted that while “neither Mr. Johnson’s inquiry nor much of the information in question is new, the Democrats’ letter is an attempt to call attention to their concern that the accusations are not only unfounded but may further Russia’s efforts to interfere again in the American presidential election.”
- The concerns are reminiscent of the events during the 2016 presidential election, when the head of the C.I.A. at the time, John O. Brennan, and the Senate minority leader at the time, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, warned of Russian attempts at undermining the election in August 2016.
- Speaker Pelosi was joined by Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the party’s leader in the Senate, as well as Mr. Schiff and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. On July 13th, the Democrats addressed the letter to Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, writing that they were “gravely concerned, in particular, that Congress appears to be the target of a concerted foreign interference campaign, which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate and the presidential election in November.”
- Joe Biden in a statement, which appears to be independent of the Democrat’s request to the F.B.I., said:
“I am putting the Kremlin and other foreign governments on notice. If elected president, I will treat foreign interference in our election as an adversarial act that significantly affects the relationship between the United States and the interfering nation’s government.”
- President Trump has appeared uncomfortable discussing Russian attempts to influence the election and has refused to say he would stop foreign assistance to his campaign, but top national security officials claim that securing the vote is his top concern.