WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, sent a letter Monday to Gary C. Peters (D-Mich.), ranking member of the committee, to respond to the ranking member’s latest attempts to stall the committee’s vote to subpoena documents relevant to ongoing oversight involving Burisma.
Today the chairman wrote, “As I explained in my March 1, 2020, letter to Committee members, I share your interest in ensuring that the Senate and this Committee not be used to ‘further disinformation efforts by Russian or other actors,’ and have conducted our oversight and investigations fully aware of these efforts. In fact, as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I held a hearing on November 3, 2015, titled ‘Putin’s Invasion of Ukraine and the Propaganda that Threatens Europe.’ I understand the threat. …
“As committed as I am to being on guard against the threat posed by our adversaries, I am equally dedicated to not letting foreign actors’ malign actions and intentions be used as a smokescreen to inhibit or interfere with the Committee’s legitimate and important oversight work.
“We have conducted our investigations methodically, responsibly, and largely out of public view. 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 fact, had you not objected to this subpoena, it would have been issued quietly with little public awareness. I gave you my personal assurance that would be the case.
“Unfortunately, you did object and continue to use ‘disinformation efforts by Russia’ as a boogie man to justify opposition to this narrow subpoena involving records associated with a U.S.-based lobbying firm. As you know, the lobbying firm is run by former Clinton administration officials, has contacts at the very highest level of the U.S. government, and uses those contacts to try to influence U.S. policy. If you are concerned that records regarding the firm’s work are somehow Russian disinformation, that is all the more reason for this Committee to investigate.”
Full text of the letter is below, and it can also be viewed here.