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Sen. Ron Johnson subpoenas FBI over its Russia probe

Chairman U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) of the Senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee on Monday subpoenaed records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation over its probe of Russia meddling. Pool Photo by Alexander Drago/UPI
Chairman U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) of the Senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee on Monday subpoenaed records from the Federal Bureau of Investigation over its probe of Russia meddling. Pool Photo by Alexander Drago/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Republican Sen. Ron Johnson has subpoenaed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to hand over records concerning its probe of Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The subpoena announced Monday and addressed to FBI Director Christopher Wray calls on him to produce by Aug. 20 records concerning the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, the bureau's two-year probe of possible links between Russia and then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

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Specifically, Johnson requested the documents the FBI gave the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Justice as part of its investigation into Crossfire Hurricane that concluded in December that the probe was rife with mistakes but was not politically motivated, improper or illegal.

The Wisconsin senator subpoenaed the documents as part of his probe as chairman of the Senate homeland security and governmental affairs committee into the origins of the FBI's investigation that was later helmed by special counsel Robert Mueller.

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Johnson also requested the General Services Administration to hand over all presidential transition records from November 2016 to December 2017.

In a statement, the FBI said it has been producing documents and information to the committee and has boosted resources in order to do so.

"As always, the FBI will continue to cooperate with the committee's requests, consistent with our law enforcement and national security obligations," the statement read.

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Johnson also published a lengthy 11-page letter explaining the purpose and origins of his probe into the Russia meddling investigation and defending a second investigation he is conducting into former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

"The left is relentless. They play for keeps, and they don't let rules or the truth get in their way," Johnson wrote. "They are using the same tired old canard of Russian interference. You'd think they could come up with something better than that, but here they are, confident they can pull it off again."

Johnson is also investigating alleged conflicts of interest in the Obama administration related to its Ukraine policy due to Biden's son Hunter serving on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company.

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Democrats have criticized the effort as partisan while Johnson defended it in the letter saying he isn't targeting the Bidens with his investigation, "their previous actions had put them in the middle of it."

On Friday, U.S. National Cyber Security Center Director William Evanina issued a statement saying Russia was attempting to denigrate Biden in the run up to the general election in November, stating pro-Russian Ukrainian politician Andriy Derkach has been spreading claims about corruption to undermine the former vice president.

The next day, Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., penned an op-ed published in The Washington Post that referenced an article that appeared Wednesday in the D.C. paper stating Johnson's committee was conducting its investigation into Biden with documents it received from Derkach -- an accusation the Wisconsin Republican denied in his letter.

"We have not taken, nor do we possess, the documents from Ukrainians that Democrats keep claiming," Johnson wrote in the letter.

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