Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said this week that his investigation into Vice President Joe Biden “would certainly help Donald Trump win reelection,” as the probe continues to face down widespread allegations that it is laundering Russian disinformation.
Politico first reported the interview on Thursday evening.
“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,” Johnson said in an appearance on a Minneapolis radio station.
Johnson has been publicizing long-discredited allegations surrounding Biden’s role in U.S. foreign policy towards Ukraine, and has also been probing alleged anti-Trump political maneuvering in the Obama-era intelligence community.
Andrew Bates, a Biden campaign spokesman, told TPM in a statement that “Johnson has directly participated in a foreign attack on our democracy.”
“This damning acknowledgment totally exposes that Ron Johnson’s disgraceful conduct is the definition of malfeasance,” Bates added. “It is beyond time for him to end this embarrassing and deeply unethical charade once and for all — as a number of his Senate Republican colleagues have long wanted.”
In the interview, Johnson discusses a subpoena he issued to the FBI for documents, complaining that the agency has “been slow-walking everything.”
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.
He went on to say that, since issuing a subpoena on Monday, “we have heard from our congressional liaison that they’re going to surge resources to do this.”
“You’d think with a Republican president, they’d be more responsive to the Republican head of a Senate committee,” Johnson added.
Counterintelligence chief William Evanina issued a statement last Friday saying that the Russian government was trying to interfere in the presidential election by damaging Biden and boosting Trump.
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.
The Wisconsin senator has, however, 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.