Gloves Off: Mitt Slams RonJohn Ukraine Probe Comments As Illegitimate ‘Political Exercise’

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) attend a special Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing at the National September 11th Memorial & Museum on September 9, 2019 in New Yor... Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) attend a special Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing at the National September 11th Memorial & Museum on September 9, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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September 16, 2020 11:56 a.m.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) slammed a Senate GOP probe into Joe Biden as a waste of taxpayer resources and a “political exercise” unfit for Congress on Wednesday.

Romney’s comment’s came one day after Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee chair Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) told a Wisconsin radio station that “what our investigations are uncovering, I think, will reveal this is not somebody we should be electing president of the United States.”

Romney derided Johnson’s Ukraine investigation as having, “from the outset, had the earmarks of a political exercise, and I’m fearful that comments made in the media recently have only confirmed that perspective.”

“It’s the province of campaigns and political parties, opposition research, the media, to carry out political endeavors to learn about or dust up one’s opponent,” Romney added, in comments made directly to Johnson. “But it’s not the legitimate role of government, for Congress or for taxpayer expense, to be used as an effort to damage political opponents.”

Romney confined his criticism to Johnson’s probe of Biden and Ukraine, which seeks to substantiate long-discredited allegations that the former Vice President had a Ukrainian prosecutor fired to protect Hunter Biden from Kyiv law enforcement.

A separate investigation into different, unsubstantiated allegations that Obama administration officials interfered with intelligence reports around Russian interference in the 2016 election during the presidential transition to Trump would be okay, Romney said, so far as it stayed focused on allegations made by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

“I do think it’s very important that the committees of Congress, and ours in particular, not fall into an increasing pattern that were seeing which is using taxpayer dollars and the powers of Congress to do political work – that’s the role of campaigns,” he added.

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