Monday, April 15, 2024

Top 5 This Week

Parnas Exposes Alleged Republican-Russian Collusion to Spread Lies About Biden

Ex-Giuliani Associate Claims GOP Senator Was 'Doing the Bidding' of Russia in Biden Smear Campaign.

Ron Johnson
Photo by Gage Skidmore

In a bombshell testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Lev Parnas, a former associate of ex-Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, leveled explosive accusations against Republican Senator Ron Johnson. Parnas alleged Johnson was “doing the bidding” of Russia by actively pushing the debunked narrative of corruption involving Joe and Hunter Biden in Ukraine. In addition to that, he testified that the allegations against the Bidens are untrue and originate from the Kremlin. 

Parnas, who worked alongside Giuliani to dig up dirt on the Bidens before the 2020 election, didn’t mince words. “Sen. Ron Johnson was our guy in the Senate,” he declared. “It was told to me that when we push the information, he’s gonna push it in the halls of Congress.”

At the heart of Parnas’s testimony is the damning claim that a coordinated disinformation campaign orchestrated by former President Donald Trump, Giuliani, and their allies deliberately “manipulated the public” with unfounded allegations against the Biden family. Parnas stated emphatically that these corruption claims “were untrue then, and they’re untrue now.”

The testimony paints a disturbing picture of a broad conspiracy involving prominent Republicans like Johnson, former Congressmen Pete Sessions and Devin Nunes, Russian intelligence, and right-wing media personalities who Parnas says knowingly spread “a false narrative” to undermine Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy.

But why would a sitting U.S. Senator like Ron Johnson actively take part in amplifying Russian disinformation? According to Parnas, it was all part of a calculated effort to unearth any shred of evidence, no matter how dubious, to damage Biden politically.

Parnas testified he was the “designated point person” tasked with meeting conservative news outlets and Trump allies to push the unverified information, which he claims originated from Russia. When asked how they managed to amplify these false allegations, Parnas pointed the finger squarely at Fox News and other right-wing media outlets that “were doing the bidding for the Russians.”

Johnson, for his part, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, dismissing Parnas’s comments as “baseless.” His spokeswoman, Kiersten Pels, insisted that the Senator’s investigations into Hunter Biden’s ties to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma were legitimate oversight work, untainted by Russian interference. 

But anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that is a lie and that the evidence suggests otherwise. Johnson’s own probe, conducted alongside Republican Senator Chuck Grassley in 2020, failed to uncover any criminality by the Bidens. Instead, it concluded that Hunter Biden had benefited from his family name — a far cry from the corruption narrative Johnson and his allies were peddling. 

Nepotism and leveraging family connections may be unsavory, but criminalizing it would empty the halls of power in Washington. After all, Donald Trump himself amassed his real estate empire by riding on the coattails of his wealthy father’s name and reputation. The harsh truth is that benefiting from familial privilege is as American as apple pie—just ask the Bushes, Clintons, or Kennedys. While ethical concerns remain valid, the legal pursuit of Hunter Biden for this alleged “crime” reeks of politically motivated hypocrisy from the Republican ranks.

Moreover, Parnas claimed that the entire endeavor yielded “precisely zero evidence” of wrongdoing by the Bidens related to Ukraine, stating, “No credible source has ever provided proof of criminal activity.”

The allegations against Johnson are particularly damning given the broader context of Russia’s well-documented efforts to interfere in U.S. elections and sow discord. As Parnas noted in his testimony, the public was deliberately “lied to by Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and various cohorts of individuals in government and media positions.”

Parnas’s damning testimony shines a harsh spotlight on what appears to be a broader pattern of subservience to Russian interests from within the Republican ranks—a chilling prospect that strikes at the heart of American democracy.

Indeed, the 2016 election interference sanctioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin marked a seismic event that should have served as a wake-up call. Yet some Republican leaders seemed almost nonchalant in the face of this brazen attack on U.S. sovereignty, with some even welcoming Russia’s meddling.

Consider the infamous July 4th, 2018 trip to Moscow by several Republican congressmen, including Ron Johnson himself. As Americans celebrated Independence Day, these supposed public servants were cozying up to the Kremlin, meeting with the same officials accused of orchestrating the very interference campaign that sought to undermine American democracy. Needless to say, the founding fathers are turning over in their graves at this disgraceful behavior. 

july4moscow

Then there was the disturbing episode in 2019 when Donald Trump and other Republicans threatened to block aid to Ukraine, a frontline nation bravely resisting Russian aggression—unless the country made up lies about Joe Biden and his family. Who else was involved? None other than Ron Johnson. And Republicans still haven’t forgiven Ukraine for not bending to the will of Donald Trump. 

The implications are staggering: American lawmakers and the President of the United States are willing to compromise national security interests and embolden a hostile foreign power, all in service of a domestic political vendetta. And they still are.

And let’s not forget the Republican members of Congress who repeatedly downplayed or outright denied Russia’s cyber intrusions in 2016, even in the face of overwhelming evidence from U.S. intelligence agencies. Some have even claimed, without a shred of proof, that Ukraine, not Russia, had perpetrated the election interference.

This baffling willingness to peddle Kremlin-approved conspiracy theories while ignoring the assessments of America’s security apparatus raises deeply unsettling questions. Are individuals like Ron Johnson and Donald Trump somehow compromised? Or are they simply useful idiots, unwittingly doing Putin’s bidding by amplifying his disinformation campaigns?

Whatever their motivations are, the pattern is unmistakable and deeply alarming. Time and time again, we’ve witnessed prominent Republicans aligning themselves with Russian interests at the expense of U.S. national security and democratic integrity, which would have been unthinkable during the Cold War. But make no mistake, the Cold War never really ended. 

In this context, Parnas’s explosive claims about Ron Johnson take on an even greater significance. They suggest the Republican Party’s infatuation with Russia is not mere happenstance, but part of a coordinated effort by Vladimir Putin to subvert American democracy from within.

The Republican Party now finds itself at a crossroads. It can either decisively root out these Russian sympathizers from its ranks, or it can continue down this treacherous path, willingly serving as a Trojan horse for Vladimir Putin’s evil agenda.

Johnson’s actions, if proven true, would represent a brazen betrayal of his oath to defend the Constitution and uphold the integrity of American democracy. By knowingly amplifying Russian disinformation, he would have actively undermined the very foundations of the nation he swore to protect.