The impeachment hearing witnesses called by the Democrats have not produced any real evidence of wrongdoing by President Trump—that’s because there is none. The president has done nothing wrong. Any real evidence—not hearsay, of his innocence, that Republicans bring forward seems to be just ignored. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) has some such real evidence of the president’s innocence. Will this be ignored too?
Johnson has firmly stated in a letter of reply to Reps. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, that the president strongly rejected any idea of tying aid to Ukraine to an investigation into corruption by the Bidens.
Nunes and Jordan had asked Johnson to provide any firsthand information he had regarding the interactions between President Trump and President Zelenskiy over aid to Ukraine, as he had been involved in various discussions regarding the military aid.
Noting that his letter (via Axios) came “after most of the depositions have been given behind closed doors, but before all the public hearings have been held,” Johnson wrote,”I view this impeachment inquiry as a continuation of a concerted, and possibly coordinated, effort to sabotage the Trump administration that probably began in earnest the day after the 2016 presidential election.”
Johnson had traveled to Ukraine in May, to the inauguration of President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, as a part of the official U.S. delegation.
Johnson pointed to an event that happened when star Democrat witness in the impeachment inquiry, as reported by Breitbart.
Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman contradicted him in front of U.S. Embassy staff after Johnson had said Ukraine was key to the U.S. strategic confrontation with Russia. “He stated that it was the position of the NSC that our relationship with Ukraine should be kept separate from our geopolitical competition with Russia.”
“My blunt response,” said Johnson was: ‘How in the world is that even possible?'”
Johnson states that Vindman’s interjection is vital because “a significant number of bureaucrats and staff members within the executive branch have never accepted President Trump as legitimate and resent his unorthodox style and his intrusion onto their ‘turf.’ They react by leaking to the press and participating in the ongoing effort to sabotage his policies and, if possible, remove him from office,” said Johnson. “Vindman may fit this profile,”
The delegation then met with President Trump back in the White House on May 23, at the suggestion of Sondland, to discuss a visit to the U.S. by President Zelenskiy. The president “expressed strong reservations,” regarding a visit by President Zelenskiy, said Johnson, as President Trump was concerned about corruption in Ukraine and because of Ukraine’s “rumored meddling in the 2016 election.”
In a subsequent conversation with President Trump, Johnson recalled, Trump rejected the very idea of tying aid to investigations, “I asked him about whether there was some kind of arrangement where Ukraine would take some action, and the hold would be lifted. Without hesitation, President Trump immediately denied such an arrangement existed. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, I quoted the president as saying, “(Expletive deleted)—No way. I would never do that. Who told you that?” I have accurately characterized his reaction as adamant, vehement, and angry—there was more than one expletive that I have deleted.”
Johnson also noted, there was no mention by the president of former Vice President Joe Biden or Burisma—the company where Biden’s son Hunter was a well-paid member of the board.
Johnson conveyed the president’s concerns about corruption to the Ukrainian president at a later date. He said there was no mention by the Ukrainians of any conditions they may need to meet to receive the aid.