Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) refused to identify which Republican senators oppose issuing subpoenas to former Obama administration officials — including former FBI Director Jim Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan — in an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday.
Hewitt asked why Comey and Brennan had not been subpoenaed by any Senate committees to publicly testify under oath about partisan political weaponization of intelligence agencies against President Donald Trump.
Johnson said some Republican senators do not want to subpoena former Obama administration officials because they are “highly concerned about how this looks politically.”
My frustration w/ @SenRonJohnson boiled over on the show this AM. Having the gavel and not using the gavel is why some of his colleagues in @SenateGOP are struggling despite best GOP Congresional leader in my lifetime in @senatemajldr. Audio here: https://t.co/C9T3tLMkOn
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) August 12, 2020
Partial transcript below:
HEWITT: You said you don’t trust Brandon you don’t trust [James] Comey. You don’t trust [Peter] Strzok. You don’t trust any of them. Why haven’t they been subpoenaed by your committee, yet? It’s been 10 months.
JOHNSON: Well first of all, I need approval of my committee members, and it was tough enough getting the subpoenas on Blue Star Strategies, and then the others with the authority I’ve got so. Also, Lindsey Graham has been given the assignment by Leader [Mitch] McConnell to really investigate that portion of the corruption, and he’s a chairman of the Judiciary Committee, so we do have some kind of lines of jurisdiction in terms of what you’re you’re trying to do.
HEWITT: Look, everybody in this audience wants Jim Comey under oath and they want John Brennan under oath. They want Andrew McCabe under oath, and it seems to me if you’ve got a Republican on your committee … do you have a one- or two-vote majority on your committee, senator?
JOHNSON: Well, if I lose one I lose the vote.
HEWITT: So I’d like to know which Republican is blocking a Jim Comey subpoena from you, because the election is here. and whether it’s you or Lindsey, we’re out of time. You guys have blown the time. It’s like they ran the four corners offense against you and you’ve run out of time.
JOHNSON: Well, let me back up and say before you interview people, you want the documents so you can ask them intelligent questions. That’s why I finally subpoenaed the FBI to get the documents.
HEWITT: But that does nothing for me. It does nothing. We have waited for three years for someone to put Comey under oath. That you or Lindsey. I’ll blame you both.
JOHNSON: That’s fine.
HEWITT: It’s not fine. We are owed answers about an attempted coup at the president, and we’re not getting them from the legislative oversight, and you are one of the two chairmen.
JOHNSON: I’m just telling you, I had a devil of a time just getting the subpoena authority that I got.
HEWITT: What does that mean? Who is the screw-up on your committee? Which Republican doesn’t want to get to the bottom of his?
JOHNSON: We had a number of my committee members who were highly concerned about how this looks politically.
JOHNSON: Hugh, I’m just not going to be naming names that way.
“I’m doing everything I believe I possibly can on this thing,” Johnson said.
Hewitt said, “Go into your next committee hearing and ask for the authority to subpoena Jim Comey, and hold a vote in public and let’s see who says no, because that will tell me a lot about the senators on your committee. Will you commit to doing that?”
“Not on a radio show, Hugh, sorry,” replied Johnson.
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