Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) met with a former Ukrainian diplomat who circulated conspiracy theories that Trump wants to have investigated about the 2016 election.
Sen. Ron Johnson met in July with a former Ukrainian diplomat who has circulated unproven claims that Ukrainian officials assisted Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, a previously unreported contact that underscores the GOP senator’s involvement in the unfolding narrative that triggered the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.
In an interview this week, Andrii Telizhenko said he met with Johnson (Wis.) for at least 30 minutes on Capitol Hill and with Senate staff for five additional hours. He said discussions focused in part on “the DNC issue” — a reference to his unsubstantiated claim that the Democratic National Committee worked with the Ukrainian government in 2016 to gather incriminating information about then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Telizhenko said he could not recall the date of the meeting, but a review of his Facebook page revealed a photo of him and Johnson posted on July 11.
Sen. Johnson has defended Trump and co-sponsored Sen. Lindsey Graham’s impeachment resolution, but he has also been outspoken on the need for military aid to Ukraine. A key question is why was US Senator who is at the middle of congressional Ukraine policy meeting and discussing debunked 2016 conspiracy theories that are being used to argue that Russia did not attack the 2016 election?
Johnson is in the middle of the impeachment scandal. He will also be one of the jurors at Trump’s impeachment trial.
The Ukraine scandal isn’t just an Executive Branch scandal. It reaches into the Senate as well, which means that the impeachment trial jury has already been corrupted and tainted by Donald Trump.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association