Sen. Johnson Blocks Sen. Schumer’s Resolution on Biden Probe

September 17, 2020 Updated: September 17, 2020

A Democratic Senate resolution calling for an end to an investigation of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden was blocked on Wednesday by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) presented a resolution that claims that Johnson and Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) probe into the Bidens is based on Russian disinformation to interfere with the upcoming presidential election.

“My colleagues and I have drafted a simple resolution. It calls for the cessation of any Senate investigation or activity that allows Congress—the United States Congress—to act as a conduit for Russian disinformation,” Schumer said from the Senate floor on Wednesday.

Epoch Times Photo
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) holds a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Dec. 16, 2019. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Schumer’s comments were referring to an investigation being conducted by Sens. Johnson of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and Grassley of the Finance Committee that Schumer says is an attack by Republicans on the former vice president based on false information from Russia.

Schumer criticized the investigation into the Bidens saying that the recent subpoenas by Johnson’s committee were a part of, “an ongoing effort to disparage the former vice president and his family.”

“There is a dark similarity here to the Republican effort in the House in the previous election to discredit the Democratic presidential candidate with the Select Committee on Benghazi,” Schumer added.

Adding to Schumer’s criticism, Sen. Wyden the ranking member of the Finance Committee, said from the Senate floor on Wednesday that Russia had “gifted” information to Johnson and Grassley.

“Its interference campaign includes gift information about Vice President Biden and the work, he was doing to fight corruption in Ukraine to spread this information, Russia enlists the help of characters like Andriy Derkach and Andre Teleshinko,” claimed Wyden.

The resolution names Ukrainian Andriy Derkach, who Wyden says is confirmed by the intelligence community of spreading Russian disinformation to undermine Biden’s campaign.

Since the GOP’s almost 2-month long investigation, Johnson and Grassley have consistently denied receiving any information from Derkach and Democrats have consistently accused them of doing so.

As tensions flared on both sides, Johnson said about the remarks from Schumer and Wyden, “if this is not violations of the Senate’s rules, it’s coming pretty darn close.”

Following Johnson’s remark, the presiding officer on the Senate floor readout Rule 19, ” No senator in debate shall directly or indirectly by any form of words impugn to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.”

Earlier Wednesday Republicans on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted to authorize subpoena over 3 dozen people as part of the Biden investigation.

“The foreign information we were falsely accused of receiving to utilize purportedly comes from Ukrainian named Andriy Derkach,” said Johnson. “Neither Senator Grassley nor I ever sought, received, or used any information from Andriy Derkach. The media has continued to report, otherwise for weeks. Despite our repeated and unequivocal denials.”

Schumer called on Johnson to “furnish” a complete list of his Russian and Ukrainian sources.

“He’ll deny receiving information from the particular Russian agent I’ve mentioned, Mr. Derkach. But Chairman Johnson has never provided a full accounting of all the Russian and Ukrainian-linked individuals he’s sought information from,” Schumer said.

Johnson concluded his remarks by saying, “I would ask the American people to take a look at what has been happening here. The false allegations, the basic playbook Democrats engage in time and time again create a false narrative,” he said. “That is what’s happening here. I personally am tired of it.”

Meanwhile, Grassley wrote in a statement Wednesday, “my colleagues, Senator Schumer and Senator Wyden violated the senate rules by attempting to offer a resolution disparaging oversight work being done by me and Senator Johnson.”

Grassley continued his criticism of the Democrat senators saying, “They argued, without evidence, that the investigation Senator Johnson and I are engaged in is advancing a Russian disinformation campaign.”

Grassley clarified that the investigation into the Bidens is concentrated on finding information on potential conflicts of interest and other wrongdoing regarding former Vice President Biden during his time as lead with the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.