Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) threw down the gauntlet tonight. As the GOP’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee head called out dozens of Obama-era officials to be issued subpoenas in his probe.
Johnson’s request comes after he and other Senate Republicans released a list earlier this month of Obama administration officials who had sought to “unmask” the names of Americans in intelligence reports in the weeks before President Donald Trump took office, the latest attempt to discredit the FBI’s Russia investigation and accuse the previous administration of wrongdoing over the prosecution of Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.
If the committee approves the authorization next week, Johnson will be authorized to issue subpoenas to all of the officials for the committee’s investigation.
“In some cases, we are already working with the agencies and individuals identified to obtain the information we need to do our work, and inclusion on the list should in no way be interpreted to suggest they have been noncompliant,” he stated.
“I am asking for this authority to ensure the committee has the ability to quickly and efficiently seek compulsory process should it become necessary. We have a great tradition in this country of peaceful and cooperative transitions of power, and the American people deserve to know if any wrongdoing occurred to corrupt the process and sabotage the new administration,” Sen. Johnson added.
And stressed they were voting on the authorization, “with the hope that subpoenas won’t be necessary.”
From The Hill:
The announcement comes after he scheduled a committee vote for June 4 to seek subpoena authority.
Ex-FBI Director James Comey, former national security adviser Susan Rice, one-time Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan are among dozens of officials Johnson will request authority to subpoena for testimony.
Johnson also wants authority to issue subpoenas for FBI records related to Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the Trump campaign and 2016 election; the State Department for any records related to Christopher Steele, author of a dossier against then-candidate Trump.
This shaping up to be a major sub plot in the story line of election 2020.