The Wisconsin senator also defended a separate investigation he is leading into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Ukraine.
Johnson’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is one of multiple Republican-led Senate panels scrutinizing the FBI’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, which were found to be non-existent and was revealed to have no legitimate legal foundation to even be instigated.
Another, the Judiciary Committee, has released a series of documents in recent weeks that further discredit the probe, including material on Sunday that the chairman, Sen. Lindsey Graham, said raised questions about whether the FBI had misled Congress about the accuracy of information it received during the investigation.
The subpoena demands that the FBI produce by Aug. 20 the records that it gave to the Justice Department inspector general’s office, which concluded in a report last December that the FBI had made significant errors during its surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser.
The FBI said in a statement that it had received the subpoena and that the bureau had already been producing documents and information for Johnson’s committee.
”As always, the FBI will continue to cooperate with the Committee’s requests, consistent with our law enforcement and national security obligations,” the statement said.
In a separate statement on Sunday, the FBI said that it was continuing to cooperate with the Judiciary Committee’s investigation.
Johnson publicized the subpoena along with a more than 5,000-word open letter in which he sought to explain the basis for his scrutiny of the Russia investigation and to defend his Biden probe against allegations that he was amplifying Russian disinformation.
“I felt it was important to provide this explanation of my investigations because of the concerted and coordinated attacks on my efforts that I have interpreted as a ‘brush back pitch’ to deter my actions and preemptively marginalize my committee’s findings,” Johnson wrote in an email.
He said he was concerned that the media was preparing to taint his committee’s findings as an extension of Russian propaganda.
Democrats in recent weeks have expressed alarm about the probe, and a statement Friday by William Evanina, the government’s chief counterintelligence official, called out by name a pro-Russia Ukrainian lawmaker who has spread leaked recordings about Biden meant to be pejorative.
Johnson denied Monday ever receiving information from that lawmaker, Andrii Derkach, or being part of a Russian disinformation effort.
“As always, almost all of the documents we are seeking and will make public are from U.S. sources,” Johnson wrote in the letter.
The Biden-Ukraine issue is a politically freighted one. Johnson explained in further detail in a press release:
“This is where the Ukrainian story of Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter, begins. Following the Revolution of Dignity, U.S. foreign policy was focused on support for the pro-western, anti-corruption, and pro-democracy efforts in Ukraine. Unfortunately, Putin had a much different plan. Congress and the Obama administration were acutely aware of Putin’s displeasure and his penchant for destabilizing governments not to his liking. As a result, U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine focused on two main objectives: 1) security and economic assistance, and 2) advocacy for and support of anti-corruption, judicial, and other reforms.
On April 16, 2014, Vice President Biden met with his son’s business partner, Devon Archer, at the White House. Five days later, Vice President Biden visited Ukraine, and the media described him as the “public face of the administration’s handling of Ukraine.” The next day, April 22, Archer joined the board of Burisma. Six days later, British officials seized $23 million from the London bank accounts of Burisma’s owner, Mykoloa Zlochevsky. Fifteen days later on May 13, Hunter Biden joined the board of Burisma, with public reports showing Hunter and his firm being paid $50,000 to $166,000 per month (totaling more than $3 million over five years) for his and Archer’s board participation.
All of this initial activity in Ukraine involving the Bidens, Hunter’s business partner, and a corrupt oligarch and his Ukrainian gas company occurred over a period of less than a month, and within three months of the Revolution of Dignity — a revolution against corruption in Ukraine. Following that revolution, Ukrainian political figures were desperate for U.S. support. Zlochevsky would have made sure relevant Ukrainian officials were well aware of Hunter’s appointment to Burisma’s board. Isn’t it obvious what message Hunter’s position on Burisma’s board sent to Ukrainian officials? The answer: If you want U.S. support, don’t touch Burisma.”
Hunter Biden has denied using his influence with his father to aid Burisma, and Biden has denied speaking with his son about his overseas business dealings.
Trump and his allies, including Johnson, have raised questions about Biden’s move as vice president in 2016 to pressure the Ukrainian government to fire its top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who had previously led an investigation into Burisma’s owner.
Biden was representing the official position of the U.S. government, a position that was also supported by other Western governments.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.