On Sunday’s broadcast of ABC’s “This Week,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-CA) accused the media and Democrats of “carrying the water for this false Russia hoax,” referring to claims Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russia. Guest host Martha Raddatz asked,
Some Republican senators are expanding their investigation into Hunter Biden and his one-time Ukrainian employer Burisma Holdings by requesting interviews and records from former Obama administration officials.
Joe Biden ruled out the possibility that he would voluntarily testify in the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying to do so would “divert” away from the issue at hand.
Republican lawmakers sent a letter to the United States Treasury to inquire about “suspicious activity reports” related to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and his employment with Ukrainian energy empire Burisma.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) recalled that President Donald Trump had rejected a quid pro quo out of hand, and said Ukraine felt no pressure.
Republican senator Ron Johnson (Wis.) said Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky made no mention during their September meeting in Kiev of feeling pressure from the White House to take action in return for military aid, contradicting his Democratic colleague Chris Murphy’s characterization of the meeting.
In a Monday afternoon letter sent to top House Republicans, Johnson said he and Murphy, who joined him on the trip, had a “very open, frank” discussion with Zelensky, and that there was no indication that Zelensky felt aid was being withheld for political reasons. House Intelligence ranking member Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) and House Oversight ranking member Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) had requested from Johnson all firsthand knowledge of his meeting with Zelensky.
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“At no time during this meeting—or any other meeting on this trip—was there any mention by Zelensky or any Ukrainian that they were feeling pressure to do anything in return for the military aid,” Johnson wrote. “Not even after Murphy warned them about getting involved in the 2020 election—which would have been the perfect time to discuss any pressure.”
Johnson met with Trump at the White House to discuss the withheld aid to Ukraine just before leaving on his trip, and says he told Ukrainians that Trump’s reservations about releasing the aid were based on “endemic corruption and inadequate European support.”
Johnson’s account stands in stark contrast to comments made by Senator Murphy, who said in September—following news that a whistleblower had filed a complaint—that he heard “directly” from Zelensky that Ukraine felt pressured to investigate Hunter Biden’s dealings in the country.
“Once I got on the ground there, I heard about how confused the entire new Ukrainian administration was about the nature of these demands they were getting from the Trump administration to conduct this political investigation, and that they worry that the aid that was being cut off to Ukraine by the president was a consequence for their unwillingness, at the time, to investigate the Bidens,” Murphy said during a Sept. 23 press conference.
Murphy’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
Zelensky has consistently said he never felt pressured to take any action. The Trump administration lifted its hold on the Ukrainian aid on Sept. 11.
Johnson was a strong advocate for restoring aid to Ukraine, and worked to convince Trump to release the aid during the White House visit he made prior to his meeting with Zelensky. He said the purpose of his meeting was “to try and persuade him to authorize me to tell Zelensky that the hold would be lifted on military aid.”
Johnson was ultimately unsuccessful, he explained in the letter.
“The president was not prepared to lift the hold, and he was consistent in the reasons he cited,” Johnson wrote. “He reminded me how thoroughly corrupt Ukraine was and again conveyed his frustration that Europe doesn’t do its fair share of providing military aid.”
Johnson said he asked Trump directly whether Ukraine was asked to take any action to release the aid and received an “adamant, vehement, and angry” denial.
“It was only after he reiterated his reasons for not giving me the authority to tell Zelensky the support would be released that I asked him about whether there was some kind of arrangement where Ukraine would take some action and the hold would be lifted,” Johnson said. “Without hesitation, President Trump immediately denied such an arrangement existed.”
Johnson also attacked the release of transcripts between Trump and Zelensky during the impeachment inquiry, saying it has “done a great deal of damage to our democracy.”
“The release of transcripts of discussions between the president of the United States and another world leader sets a terrible precedent that will deter and limit candid conversations between the president and world leaders from now on,” he wrote.
The post Ron Johnson: Ukrainians Felt No Pressure From White House Over Withheld Aid appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.
During an interview with WSAU’s “Feedback with Ben Armstrong” released on Thursday, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) stated that once he gets the information that he needs, he will, if necessary, subpoena the Bidens,
On Sunday’s broadcast of CNN’s “State of the Union,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) argued the testimony from current and former White House officials that contradicted President Donald Trump was “just their impression.” Host Jake Tapper said, “A lot of the people who have
The United States Senate is probing whether a lobbying firm working on the behalf of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil and gas conglomerate, leveraged the company’s ties to Hunter Biden for access to the State Department.
Leading Republican senators are asking the State Department to turn over all information relating to Hunter Biden and his business associates after newly released documents revealed that foreign companies attempted to leverage their ties to former vice president Joe Biden’s son.
Sens. Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), chairmen of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Finance, respectively, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking for all records related to Hunter Biden, his business partners, and their companies on Thursday. The letter also requests information about Biden’s Ukraine dealings after documents emerged showing that a lobbyist for Burisma, an energy firm that paid Hunter Biden to serve on its board, dropped Biden’s name in emails to government officials.
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The senators said the reports raise concerns about potential conflicts of interest. The documents would help lawmakers “better understand what actions, if any, the Obama administration took to ensure that policy decisions relating to Ukraine and Burisma were not improperly influenced by the employment and financial interests of family members,” the letter said.
Hunter Biden’s lucrative dealings with foreign companies during the Obama administration have become a source of controversy for Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden. In October, three different agencies briefed Grassley staffers about the Obama administration’s approval of a business deal involving Hunter Biden and a Chinese firm that previously stole U.S. military technology, the Free Beacon previously reported.
Investigative journalist John Solomon first obtained the internal documents through a Freedom of Information Act request. The documents revealed that Karen Tramontano, a top Burisma lobbyist from Blue Star Strategies, name-dropped the vice president’s son in an attempt to arrange a meeting between company officials and Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli.
Tramontano “noted that two high profile U.S. citizens are affiliated with the company (including Hunter Biden as a board member),” a department official wrote in a February 2016 email. A meeting between Tramontano and Novelli was subsequently scheduled for March 1, 2016.
The email exchange took place as British and Ukrainian authorities investigated the owner of Burisma for criminal wrongdoing. Tramontano told the State Department official she believed Burisma was innocent and that the meeting would give the administration a “better understanding of how the U.S. came to the determination that the company is corrupt,” according to the newly released emails.
The documents also showed that Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s business associate and fellow Burisma board member, was scheduled to meet then-secretary of state John Kerry one day after the Tramontano meeting. Archer was a former business partner of Kerry’s stepson, Chris Heinz.
A Heinz spokesman told the Washington Free Beacon that his client cut ties with Archer and Biden over concerns about their relationship with Burisma.
“Mr. Heinz strongly warned Mr. Archer that working with Burisma was unacceptable,” said Chris Bastardi, a vice president at Sunshine Sachs, in a statement to the Free Beacon. “Mr. Archer stated that he and Hunter Biden intended to pursue the opportunity as individuals, not as part of the firm. The lack of judgment in this matter was a major catalyst for Mr. Heinz ending his business relationships with Mr. Archer and Mr. Biden.”
Johnson and Grassley requested all information regarding both the Tramontano meeting and the Archer meeting, as well as a pair of 2015 meetings between Hunter Biden and then-deputy secretary of state Anthony Blinken. The details of those arrangements were discussed in the emails obtained by Solomon.
“In light of the information recently released via FOIA and referenced in the letter, the senators are seeking additional details on any further actions by the State Department,” finance committee spokesman Taylor Foy told the Washington Free Beacon.
The letter focuses on Hunter Biden’s Ukraine dealings, but could unearth details about his other foreign business relationships. The letter explicitly requests information about Rosemont Seneca Bohai, a company that partnered with Chinese financiers during the Obama administration. Bohai paid Hunter Biden $700,000 between 2014 and 2015, according to the Daily Caller.
A trio of Republican senators this week expressed displeasure with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) over his repeated criticism of President Donald Trump.
Sunday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) addressed the whistleblower complaint regarding a phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s president and the corruption that has come to light from the 2016 presidential election. During “Life, Libery & Levin,” Johnson referenced a 2017 Politico
We’re finally at the point in the Roadrunner cartoon where Wile E. Chuckola grabs a hammer and starts pounding on his own head.
On this Sunday’s broadcast of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) had a heated interview with anchor Chuck Todd.
Democrat Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has become one of only three Democrats to cross the aisle and join Republicans in the push for a program that would quickly deport migrants who are found making false asylum claims.
President Donald Trump is considering stepping in to eliminate Amazon’s looming $10 billion contract with the Pentagon for cloud computing, Bloomberg News reports.
Two GOP Senators ripped Democrat members — and the GOP chairman of their committee — during a hearing Wednesday, just after three Democrat senators simultaneously lamented the crush of migrants while prodding border officials to allow more migrants through the border.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) grilled a Google representative Tuesday during a Senate Commerce Committee on its political bias.
At a Senate commerce committee hearing on social media algorithms today, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) took the opportunity to take Facebook-owned Instagram to task for apparent bias in its suggested follows feature, which recommends new accounts for users to follow.
On this weekend’s broadcast of “Fox News Sunday,” Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said President Donald Trump’s use of the threat of tariffs on Mexico was done so “brilliantly.” Johnson said, “In general Republicans understand that tariffs