Politics

Johnson Demands Apology for ‘Treacherous Conspiracy’

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson is calling on “mainstream media journalists and elected Democrats, including some of my House colleagues” to apologize for “spinning a false narrative to advance their political agenda.”

And the Republican from Ohio’s 6th congressional district, which represents part of Mahoning County and all of Columbiana County, says “those responsible for dragging the country through this mess, knowing it was all untrue, must be held accountable.”

Johnson’s statement was released shortly after Attorney General William Barr announced that special counsel Robert Mueller did not find that President Donald Trump’s campaign or associates conspired with Russia during the 2016 campaign. READ BARR LETTER

“Not a single American was charged, indicted, or convicted for conspiring with Russia to influence the 2016 election – not one! “ Johnson said. “Like many of you, I’ve maintained all along this would be the case. It was simply, and obviously, a fabricated hoax perpetrated by those who could not accept the fact that Donald Trump won the 2016 election fair and square.”

Johnson called the special counsel probe the result of a “treacherous conspiracy theory that’s wasted so much of our time and the American taxpayers’ hard-earned money. It’s very scary to think that we, the American public, were never supposed to find out what was going on ‘behind the scenes,”]’ as Donald Trump was never supposed to win. Had he not, we wouldn’t have found out about any of the shady FISA warrants, wiretapping, or extreme bias in the Justice Department and at the FBI,” he said. “We simply must get to the bottom of this, and those responsible for dragging the country through this mess, knowing it was all untrue, must be held accountable.”

The Mueller report was inconclusive on whether the president obstructed justice.

Johnson’s statement stood out as particularly pointed in seeking accountability inside and outside the Justice Department. But there is no indication what form, if any, accountability could take.

President Trump described Mueller’s findings as “total exoneration.” As for recriminations, he told reporters, “This was an illegal take-down that failed and hopefully somebody is going to be looking at their other side.”

Jane M. Timken, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, said the summary findings exonerated President Trump. “I am glad that Mueller’s report has concluded that there was no collusion. This unnecessary and political witch-hunt is finally over and we can go back to focusing on our booming economy.”

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13, said the entire report should be made public. “A four-page summary released by the Trump Administration is not enough,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, like all congressional Democrats, agreed, saying the Justice Department must “turn over the full report to Congress.”

In his statement, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) reiterated his call for the report to be made public “with important exceptions for grand jury or classified information,” he said.

“As I’ve said consistently, I believe the report should be made public, with important exceptions for grand jury or classified information, and I hope the Attorney General provides as much information to the public as he possibly can, as soon as he can. I appreciate the summary received today, and hope to have the opportunity to review the report very soon.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.