Johnson, Grassley Respond to Oversight Leaks

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement after colleagues attempted to undermine legitimate oversight by selectively leaking information from investigations:

“We have shared our ongoing investigation efforts with our Democrat ranking members as a courtesy and with the understanding that sensitive information would be treated appropriately and remain confidential. It is disappointing that one or more of our colleagues would actively seek to undermine our legitimate oversight by selectively leaking information to the press.

“Insofar as we requested as part of our investigation any sensitive law enforcement information regarding suspicious financial transactions, that request and any response received would be highly sensitive. Any selective leaks to publicize or confirm these actions is highly inappropriate, undermines our investigation, and risks the effectiveness of this important law enforcement tool. Should such sensitive information exist, it would only prove the need to further investigate any and all suspicious activity related to it. Accordingly, despite these inappropriate and selective leaks, we will continue undeterred. 

“It’s strange to us that any senator would complain about Congress receiving responses to oversight requests in a timely manner. As a general matter, most oversight requests do not involve material protected by Executive Privilege, so it can be more rapidly provided to Congress. In fact, Democrats have recently received productions from Treasury pursuant to their oversight requests. If the administration were to claim privilege over requested material, as the Obama administration did in the “Operation Fast and Furious” investigation, members of Congress can use other tools at their disposal – including the courts – to compel cooperation. In the case of impeachment, the House chose not to do so. Our oversight work over the last several years should stand in stark contrast to the slapdash impeachment inquiry in the House.”

The chairmen previously requested meeting records from the State DepartmentNational Archives and Blue Star Strategies, a lobbying organization employed by Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company that employed Hunter Biden on its board while Joe Biden oversaw the Obama Administration’s Ukraine policy. Burisma was under investigation for corruption at the time. Grassley also previously raised concerns about the Obama administration’s approval of the sale of a U.S. company to the Chinese government and an investment firm formed, in part, by Hunter Biden.