The Washington Post reported that Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson received secret documents from Ukrainians. And former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas has confessed to putting Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee and perhaps Trump’s most energetic defender on all things Russia, in touch with one of the Ukrainians releasing documents in the United States.
There is hardly any secret to what they’re up to. Johnson says he plans to release his report on Biden in September. It hardly matters if the information Russia gives him actually substantiates his allegations, or even whether it is authentic. The obvious plan is to splash some headlines into news screens in the heat of the campaign that seem to connect Biden to some kind of wrongdoing.
In reality, it is not a scandal about Biden at all. It’s a scandal about Republican cooperation with a Russian propaganda campaign.
What makes Evanina’s statement today so significant is that it makes clear that the passing of information, real or otherwise, from various Ukrainian figures to various Trump allies is part of a Russian-directed scheme to help Trump win. Republicans could tell Russia that Russian-controlled media are free to say anything they want, but Republicans aren’t going to launder their propaganda for them. Instead, they are doing everything in their power to exploit it.
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Two top Republican senators on Wednesday denied they are pushing Russian disinformation, responding directly to charges from Democratic congressional leaders who have demanded additional public disclosures about the Kremlin’s interference in the 2020 presidential election.
Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who are spearheading investigations targeting presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter, maintained they have “neither sought out, relied upon, nor publicly released anything that could even remotely be considered disinformation.”
POLITICO also reported that the addendum states that a Ukrainian lawmaker linked to the Kremlin, Andrii Derkach, sent information about Biden to Johnson, Grassley and other Trump allies who have pushed similar corruption claims against the Bidens. The senators have denied receiving such informational packets from Derkach, who has long attempted to tar Biden.
Johnson and Grassley confirmed in the letter that the addendum does, in fact, mention the Biden investigation and the Derkach packets. They also said they did not receive access to the classified addendum until “late last week.”