GOP Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin got a little hot under the collar after Democrats dared to state the obvious: that he’s suddenly barreling full steam ahead on investigating fabricated Biden-related issues now that former Vice President Joe Biden may be on the path to winning the Democratic nomination for president.
After Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, opposed Johnson’s efforts to subpoena a former consultant to the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, Johnson, who chairs the panel, said that Peters was unnecessarily stoking concerns about Russian interference in U.S. elections—as if that’s not a valid concern.
“We have conducted our investigations methodically, responsibly, and largely out of public view,” Johnson wrote in a letter released Monday, according to The Hill. “We have gone to great lengths to receive briefings and review and verify all information received by the Committee before making any of it public.”
In other words: Don’t worry—all our dirt digging has been done in private so we can find the best dirt to air in public hearings.
Johnson accused Peters of using “‘disinformation efforts by Russia’ as a boogie man” to oppose the dirt digging. Johnson is pushing for a vote this week on subpoenaing Andrii Telizhenko, a former consultant for a U.S.-based public affairs firm that represented Burisma, the company for which Biden’s son Hunter was a board member. Peters had sent a letter to Johnson last week suggesting that the panel would be wise to get a classified briefing on Telizhenko from both the FBI and intelligence officials in order to be sure he can be trusted and won’t simply be advancing disinformation.
Bottom line: Johnson wants to push ahead with the vote without that briefing. National security and protecting the nation’s elections from foreign interference aren’t near as important to him as muddying up Biden, Trump’s potential rival this fall.