Grassley, Johnson Push Ukraine-DNC Conspiracy Theory With Doc Demand

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 25: Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., talks with reporters in the Senate subway on the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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One day after the House wrapped up public hearings in its impeachment inquiry, two Republican senators opened their own investigation into Ukraine.

Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to the National Archives seeking records from Obama Administration-era contacts with Ukrainian officials.

The request appears to set up a bid in the Senate to support a counternarrative related to the investigations sought by President Trump and Rudy Giuliani.

The letter focuses on Andrii Telizhenko, a former official at the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington who claims to have borne witness to alleged attempts at collusion between the Democratic National Committee and the Ukrainian government during the 2016 election.

Telizhenko also alleges that he witnessed Obama administration officials telling Ukraine to put the kibosh on investigations into the gas company on whose board Hunter Biden sat.

There is no evidence to back up Telizhenko’s assertions, though they shape the direction of Johnson and Grassley’s document request: the pair ask for information about 2016 meetings between Obama administration officials and a number of Ukrainians who appear in Telizhenko’s narrative.

Johnson himself has cameo-ed at various points in the scandal surrounding Trump’s efforts to press Ukraine to announce politically beneficial investigations. He traveled to Kyiv for the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelensky in May, and was purportedly told by EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in August that security assistance to Ukraine had been conditioned on the country’s willingness to investigate the 2016 elections.

The letter Johnson sent appears to probe the same alleged conduct that was the focus of the pressure campaign.

Telizhenko, who is in D.C. this week, denied to TPM that he had met with Grassley or Johnson this week.

He did, however, meet with actor and high-profile Trump supporter Jon Voight at the Trump D.C. hotel. Voight received the National Medal of Arts in a Thursday ceremony.

“Great person great patriot,” Telizhenko wrote to TPM of Voight.

Read the letter here:

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