Ron Johnson Scoffs At 'Bribery' Attack On Biden As Mere 'Claims' (VIDEO)
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who has spent years promoting countless conspiracy theories on topics ranging from COVID-19 to climate change, apparently isn’t sold on House Republicans’ claim that when President Joe Biden was vice president, he took a $5 million bribe and there are taxes to prove it.
The claims, little more than a conspiracy theory based on a single FBI document used to record unverified statements made by third-parties, have been gobbled up and spewed across far-right media and social media by some of the most extreme Republicans in the House of Representatives, and even a few GOP Senators.
How far out there is Sen. Johnson?
“All told, when it comes to spewing dangerous drivel, Mr. Johnson has displayed a commitment and creativity rarely seen outside of QAnon gatherings or Trump family dinners,” The New York Times’ Michelle Cottle wrote in an opinion piece last year.
So it’s stunning that Sen. Johnson is now apparently walking back the unsubstantiated claims exploding on the right that President Biden took a $5 million bribe when he was President Barack Obama’s Vice President.
The latest twist of “evidence,” according to Republicans, is that there are now “tapes” allegedly proving the Biden bribe conspiracy theory.
But, in a Tuesday interview with a local Wisconsin right-wing talk radio show host, Johnson – whose outrageously wild claims in the past have crowned him the “Senate’s leading conspiracy theorist” a “bagman for Qanon,” and “Putin’s favorite Senator” – said the allegations he and other Republicans have been spreading now must be taken with a grain of salt.
“We don’t even know” if the tapes “exist,” Johnson said. “It’s a claim, it’s an allegation. We don’t know whether they really exist or not.”
\u201cFor the second day in a row, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) urges caution when it comes to new GOP allegations of tapes proving Joe Biden accepted bribes:\n\n\u201cWe don\u2019t know that [the tape] exists \u2026 It's a claim, it\u2019s an allegation. We don\u2019t know whether they really exist or not.\u201d\u201d— The Recount (@The Recount) 1686762940
Another GOP Senator who has been spreading the bribery conspiracy theory is Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the president pro tempore emeritus of the United States Senate who began serving in public elected office in 1959.
Grassley has been a consistent partner with House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Comer on the Biden bribery conspiracy theory, despite having no official Senate function or role that would allow him to pursue an investigation.
Comer, who has admitted his purpose as that powerful committee’s chief is to attack Biden and help Trump get elected, has repeatedly suggested or implied the FBI document, officially called an FD-1023, is proof (it is not).
“The FBI’s 6/30/20 FD-1023 record stands on its own and contains information from a trusted confidential human source who had conversations with the foreign national who claimed to have bribed Biden,” Comer’s Oversight Committee tweeted over the weekend.
Last month Comer’s Oversight Committee posted a nearly ten-minute video of a press conference with him making various wild allegations about Biden and the Biden family.
Newsweek on Tuesday notes that “The Washington Post reported last week that the allegations contained in the FD-1023 document being sought by Republican lawmakers were reviewed by the FBI under former Attorney General William Barr, only for the agency to conclude the allegations were found not to be supported by facts. The investigation was later dropped, a fact confirmed by several outlets.”
Stunningly, it’s not only Sen. Johnson, but Rep. Comer himself on Tuesday, under pressure by a Newsmax host pressing him to either say the tapes are legitimate or say when he will be able to confirm their legitimacy, confessed on live TV: “We don’t know if they’re legit or not.”
\u201cNEWSMAX: When will you be able to confirm that these recordings are legit?\n\nCOMER: We don't know if they're legit or not\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1686660141
Also on Tuesday, even Sen,. Grassley himself stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and poured cold water on his previous claims.
“The foreign national who allegedly bribed Joe and Hunter Biden, allegedly has audio recordings, of his conversation with them,” Grassley declared, relying on the word “allegedly” frequently.
“Seventeen such recordings,” he claimed. “These recordings were allegedly kept as a sort of insurance policy in case that he got into a tight spot.”
\u201c3 allegedlys in 25 seconds!\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1686660141
All this comes after Comer breathlessly claimed he had a star whistleblower witness who could prove his allegations, only to be forced to admit he had “lost” that witness, somehow.
Later it turned out that witnesses who did show up for Comer’s hearing had been paid by a former Trump administration official and current Trump advisor.
Since Comer has been very careful to not reveal who his sources are, some believe them to be among the four Russia-linked individuals the Trump administration’s own Treasury Dept. sanctioned in 2020 “for attempting to influence the U.S. electoral process,” as it announced in a press release.
NCRM has no knowledge of who Comer’s alleged sources are.
The Trump Treasury Department in 2020 reported, “From at least late 2019 through mid-2020, [Andrii] Derkach waged a covert influence campaign centered on cultivating false and unsubstantiated narratives concerning U.S. officials in the upcoming 2020 Presidential Election, spurring corruption investigations in both Ukraine and the United States designed to culminate prior to election day. Derkach’s unsubstantiated narratives were pushed in Western media through coverage of press conferences and other news events, including interviews and statements.”
Treasury’s statement adds:
“Between May and July 2020, Derkach released edited audio tapes and other unsupported information with the intent to discredit U.S. officials, and he levied unsubstantiated allegations against U.S. and international political figures. Derkach almost certainly targeted the U.S. voting populace, prominent U.S. persons, and members of the U.S. government, based on his reliance on U.S. platforms, English-language documents and videos, and pro-Russian lobbyists in the United States used to propagate his claims.”
And yet despite all this mountainous lack of substantive evidence or proof, some Republicans are speaking as if it were a proven, indisputable matter of tangible fact that Joe Biden should be impeached, or indicted.
Perhaps one of the loudest voices among the traitor claimers is Rep. Nancy Mace, Republican of South Carolina, who just recently won a few pats on the back from liberal politics watchers after she mocked some in her own party.
On Tuesday, Mace went on Fox News and in a lengthy interview with Maria Bartiromo, discussed the alleged bribery claims and concluded that the 37-criminal felony count indictment against Donald Trump is just a “distraction” from Biden’s actions and an attempt to jail his top political enemy.
\u201cJoe Biden is using every tool at his disposal to destroy Donald Trump. Not only is this un-American, but it is the weaponization of the Executive Branch.\u201d— Rep. Nancy Mace (@Rep. Nancy Mace) 1686696481
“Make no mistake,” Mace falsely declared on Twitter the same day, “at today’s arraignment you are watching a sitting President use his DOJ to put his top political rival in jail.”
Another of the loudest voices insisting that the Biden conspiracy theory is true: U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn, Republican of Tennessee.
Even Wednesday, a day after the conspiracy theory leaders walked back and poured cold water on their allegations, Sen. Blackburn had no problem appearing on Fox News to promote the highly-questionable claims — this time couching it in terms of “feelings” and “ifs.”
\u201c\u201cWe feel like we caught [President Biden] \u2026 If Joe Biden and his son Hunter took this bribe, if these recordings do exist, the American people deserve to know.\u201d\n\n\u2014 Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) calls for a special counsel to investigate President Biden\u201d— The Recount (@The Recount) 1686761054
The Intercept’s D.C. Bureau Chief Ryan Grim, in a lengthy explainer he published on Substack, concludes, “even if everything in the document is true, there is still an interpretation that would stop short of implicating Joe Biden: Hunter Biden could have been lying in order to extract more money from Burisma.”
Reprinted with permission from Alternet.
- Trump Says Followers 'Must Come Out' To Protest Indictment -- While Some Threaten 'War' ›
- Right-Wing Media Furious Over GOP Prosecutor's Plea Deal With Hunter Biden - National Memo ›
- McCarthy Shoots Down 'Rogue' Biden Impeachment Resolutions - National Memo ›
- No, Hunter Biden Didn't Get A 'Sweetheart Deal' From GOP Prosecutor - National Memo ›
- Why Republicans Ignore The Facts Behind Hunter Biden's 'Sweetheart Deal' - National Memo ›
- How Republicans Are Undermining Their Path To Senate Majority - National Memo ›
- Poll: Public Disdains House GOP Investigations - National Memo ›
- That 'Highly Credible' Republican Witness Is On The Lam - National Memo ›
- Fox Business Hosts Hype Biden 'Bribe' Tapes With No Proof They Exist - National Memo ›
- Why A Biden 'Impeachment Inquiry' May Make Democrats Secretly Smile - National Memo ›
- Hyped By Right, 'Bombshell' Testimony On Hunter Biden Is A Squib - National Memo ›
- Republicans Claim Biden Calls As Son Lay Dying Prove Corruption (VIDEO) - National Memo ›
- Carpetbagger! GOP's Rich Senate Picks Don't Live Where They May Run - National Memo ›
- Fox News Promotes Crooked Ukraine Prosecutor To Smear Biden - National Memo ›
- Wisconsin Republicans Misuse Tax Dollars To Defend Gerrymander Map - National Memo ›
- Fox News Is Pushing Republicans Into A Crazy Biden impeachment (VIDEO) - National Memo ›
- Under Threat From Far Right, McCarthy Announces Impeachment Inquiry - National Memo ›
- Swing District Polls Show Voters Reject GOP Biden Impeachment - National Memo ›
- How Trump's First Impeachment Debunked Premise Of Biden Impeachment - National Memo ›
- Right-Wing 'Journalist' Destroys Impeachment Case Against Biden - National Memo ›