Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson railed against Senate colleague Gary Peters on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Wednesday after the Michigan Democrat spent months falsely characterizing Johnson’s work with Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley investigating Hunter Biden as Russian disinformation.
“The people peddling it, are not on my side of the aisle,” Johnson said with Peters seated at least six feet to the left. “Senior Democrat leaders, including ranking member Peters, were involved in a process of creating a false intelligence product that was mostly classified.”
Johnson continued, lambasting Peters for accusing Johnson and Grassley of capitalizing on Russian disinformation to conduct governmental oversight.
“They leaked the media that accused Senator Grassley, the Senate pro tem of the Senate and myself of accepting and disseminating Russian disinformation… Senator Peters introduced that false information, Russian disinformation into our investigation record,” Johnson said, who chairs the committee.
.@SenRonJohnson: "You lied repeatedly in the press that I was spreading Russian disinformation…I told you to stop…"@SenGaryPeters: "This is not about airing your grievances. I don't know what rabbit hole you're running down…"
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 16, 2020
Congressional Democrats escalated their campaign to delegitimize the ongoing Senate probe into Hunter Biden’s finances this summer, attempting to derail an investigation which began years before Joe Biden declared his candidate for president. Peters was a primary culprit, perpetuating the favorite Democratic narrative of the Trump era.
Johnson and Grassley took aim at Peters directly in July as the Michigan Democrat demanded an FBI briefing into Russian operations allegedly guiding the Senate investigation into the Biden family’s conflicts of interest while serving at the upper echelons of government.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that your interest in understanding ‘the national security and counterintelligence implications of foreign election interference’ is one-sided and highly political,” the pair of Republican senators wrote in a letter addressed to Peters and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon.
Peters rejected Johnson’s charges, calling them unfounded and inappropriate.
“This is not about airing your grievances,” Peters pushed back. “I don’t know what rabbit hole you’re going down.”
Johnson blasted Peters for his denial, where a shouting match ensued.
“You talked about Russian disinformation,” Johnson repeated, before moving on to grant Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul the floor.
Johnson’s Wednesday lecture comes as the committee opened up a hearing to consider the voting irregularities that took place in the recent November election which featured record turnout in the form of mail-in voting.
Sen. Paul called for hearings that included state lawmakers to shore up security in subsequent elections and criticized those dismissing claims of voter fraud entirely.
“We can’t just say it didn’t happen,” Paul said at the hearing with the nation’s former cybersecurity chief Christopher Krebs. “The fraud happened. The election in many ways was stolen, and the only way it will be fixed is by in the future reinforcing the laws.”
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 16, 2020
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley complained that after four years of non-stop accusations by Democrats that President Donald Trump was an agent of the Russian government, they had the audacity to condemn Republicans investigating pandemic irregularities at the ballot box.
“The whole Russia nonsense was based on we now know lies from a Russian spy,” Hawley said. “After four years of that, being told that the last election was fake and that Donald Trump wasn’t really elected and that Russia intervened, after four years of that, now these same people are told you just sit down and shut up. If you have any concerns about election integrity, you’re a ‘nut case’… That is not a recipe for success in this country.”