Ron Johnson: My Biden Probe Will ‘Certainly’ Help Trump Win
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said during an August interview that his investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden “would certainly help Donald Trump win reelection,” according to Talking Points Memo.
- Johnson’s admission came as he faces widespread allegations that his investigation is laundering Russian disinformation as the Kremlin seeks to undermine Biden in the 2020 election.
- While appearing on a Minneapolis radio station, first reported by Politico, Johnson said: “The more that we expose of the corruption of the transition process between Obama and Trump, the more that we expose of the corruption of those agencies, I would think it would certainly help Donald Trump win reelection and would certainly be pretty good evidence about not voting for Vice President Biden.”
- TPM noted that Johnson claims in the interview that the FBI “been slow-walking everything” in relation to the documents he subpoenaed.
The senator added that while “Attorney General [William] Barr has been great” in responding to document requests, the FBI has dragged its feet.
“You also might have political hacks in this agency that would just as soon see Donald Trump defeated and former Vice President Joe Biden elected, and that may be part of this too,” Johnson mused.
- Last Friday, counterintelligence chief William Evanina released a statement “saying that the Russian government was trying to interfere in the presidential election by damaging Biden and boosting Trump,” TPM noted.
Evanina identified Ukrainian MP Andrii Derkach as working to further Russian interests. Derkach has offered to share supposed tape recordings of Biden speaking with the Ukrainian President with Republicans on Capitol Hill. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) would not say last week whether he had taken information from Derkach, while Johnson has denied that he has.
- However, Johnson has received documents from “Andrii Telizhenko, a Ukrainian political operative and onetime employee at the former Soviet republic’s embassy in Washington, who has spent much of the Trump administration peddling various claims of corruption in the Democratic Party.”
Just Security reported earlier this week that in March, “the FBI specifically alerted Sen. Johnson and his committee about the counterintelligence threat posed by Telizhenko.”
According to the New York Times and Politico., the FBI “warned lawmakers in a briefing that it had concerns that Mr. Telizhenko was a conduit for Russian disinformation about the Bidens and claims that Ukraine conspired to help Democrats in the 2016 election,” the Times wrote.
Still, Johnson insists that he is not promoting Russian disinformation, writing in a letter on Monday in defense of his actions: “It is neither me, Chairman Grassley, nor our committees that are being used to disseminate Russian disinformation.”