WASHINGTON (SPECTRUM NEWS) — Senator Ron Johnson’s heavy involvement in the Trump/Ukraine saga deepened this week after the release of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s impeachment inquiry testimony.
Johnson mentioned in key witness statements
This week, the House Intel Committee made public the first round of deposition transcripts.
Sen. Johnson’s name was brought up several times throughout the many pages of testimony from Trump officials.
In Sondland’s testimony, he denied reports of actually using the words with the senator but speculated that he might’ve told him, “I hope this isn’t going on” when referring to potential quid pro quo.
Sondland was then asked the question: “Are there any other Congressmen or Senators that you remember discussing Ukraine issues with?"
He answered: “Not that I recall. Senator Johnson because he was on the delegation.”
Johnson previously confirmed Sondland tipped him off which led the senator to confront Pres. Trump about the allegations.
Johnson said Trump denied there was any quid pro quo.
That revelation that Johnson was the only lawmaker privy to these talks will likely add fuel to the Democrats’ calls for him to testify as part of this inquiry.
Johnson has responded to criticism that he is too close to the situation by blaming his committee assignments.
“I’m involved in the Ukraine issue because I’m chairman of the European Subcommittee of Foreign Relations,” said Sen. Johnson.
Investigations pick up
Meanwhile, he’s ramping up counter-investigations into the president’s political rivals.
Thursday, Sen. Johnson sent letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking for the release of any State Department records relevant to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.
He said in a press release he’s looking for answers to questions regarding the way a consulting firm hired by a Ukrainian energy company used Hunter to potentially influence the State Department in 2016.
Sen. Johnson also requested the National Archives hand over any emails between former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week.
He launched this investigation after text messages that mentioned correspondences between the two from a former FBI official who was fired for anti-Trump messages were uncovered.
“We’re seeing legitimate concerns and questions about misbehavior and potential corruption at the highest level of the FBI,” said Sen. Johnson.
Revealing Trump’s accuser
These investigations spearheaded by the senator happens as the House impeachment inquiry rolls on and Johnson wants the source of this inquiry to come forward.
He said not all are created equal and some whistleblowers have an ax to grind.
Johnson told Spectrum News 1 while he believes there are certain workplace protections that are entitled to whistleblowers, the whistleblower should still have to answer for his/her complaint if it has greater implications for the highest office in the country.
“There are serious concerns about the political nature of why he brought this to the forefront and exactly what Adam Schiff’s involvement in that was as well— as well as lying to the American people in terms of his committee not having any contact with the whistleblower,” said Johnson. “So again, there are a lot of unanswered questions. My role in this has always been, I just want to get the truth. I want to make sure the American people understand what has been happening since before the 2016 election and afterwards in terms of efforts to sabotage this administration.”