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Ethics Experts: Ron Johnson Erred On Trump's Ukraine Scandal

Ethics experts say Ron Johnson Mishandled Trump's Ukraine scandal and should not vote on impeachment.
Ethics Experts: Ron Johnson Erred On Trump's Ukraine Scandal
Image from: Alex Kraus Bloomberg via Getty Images

As reported last week, Ron Johnson, Wisconsin's Dumb (and corrupt) Senator, dismissed Trump's Ukraine scandal because RoJo said that Trump denied it and, gosh darn it, that was good enough for RoJo!

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel followed up on this by asking various ethics experts on how RoJo handled this whole sordid affair. The experts all said what we already know, RoJo really dropped the ball on the whole thing. Furthermore, because of the way RoJo handled this mess, he should recuse himself form voting, if the impeachment should reach the Senate for trial. Since the paper has it behind a paywall, here are some of the excerpts:

Four ethics experts say Johnson — a member of a branch of government that exists, in part, to provide a check on the president — should have also alerted other senators, explored holding an oversight hearing or even told federal investigators.

One expert says he didn't see anything improper about Johnson's actions but all five contend Johnson should not have taken Trump at his word when he assured Johnson the allegation was false.

"Yes, clearly this should have been reported to the FBI," University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor David Canon said. "What did he expect the president to say? 'Ah, you are right, sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.'"

[...]

And his role in the matter may mean he should refrain from voting if Trump's removal from office comes before the Senate, two experts said. Johnson plays a central part in what happened because he asked Trump in August whether the aid and investigation were linked.

“You don't have somebody be a witness in a trial and then serve on the jury,” said Hui Chen, an attorney who has worked on compliance issues for the U.S. Department of Justice, Microsoft and Pfizer.

[...]

"I think it was a deep mistake for Senator Johnson to take the president at his word and not instead pursue other channels, including alerting his colleagues for congressional oversight purposes," said Ryan Goodman, a professor at New York University School of Law who served as special counsel to the U.S. Department of Defense under President Barack Obama.


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“I think his missteps here have implicated himself, because he's become a fact witness in the case,” Goodman said of Johnson. “And I think as such the appropriate thing for him to do may be to recuse himself from the Senate trial.”

I think the gentle reader gets the idea.

What hasn't been reported anywhere else is the fact that RoJo does have a history of covering up crimes committed by fellow Republicans.

In 2011, then Wisconsin State Representative Bill Kramer sexually assaulted a woman who was an aide to RoJo at the time. The woman went to RoJo and his Chief of Staff, Tony Blando, and told them of the assault. Neither man told the police or any Republican Party officials about the reported assault. The woman eventually came forward and told police of the assault.

Even then, RoJo tried to play stupid, if he was indeed playing, denied any knowledge of the incident. He also denied that the woman had told him about it. It was only after the woman reported to the police that she had indeed informed them about it that RoJo's memory started to come back to him.

It's high time and then some that RoJo is also put under investigation for his own ethics violations.

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