Sen. Johnson comments on President Trump impeachment inquiry

Published: Oct. 4, 2019 at 5:21 PM CDT
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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) made multiple stops in Northeast Wisconsin Friday, including a visit Manitowoc Lincoln High School.

Students asked Sen. Johnson a number of questions, including his thoughts on the impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives.

"I don't see any grounds for impeachment,” said Sen. Johnson.

He believes that President Donald Trump is simply looking for answers, not trying to undermine a political rival.

"The way I interpret it, President Trump, he wants to know the truth,” said Sen. Johnson. "What happened in Ukraine as it relates to the 2016 election? Did something happen? If something happened, we need to know that. If nothing happened, we need to know that as well."

The senator believes it’s any president’s right to ask other countries for assistance in certain investigations.

“It’s totally appropriate for the president, either directly or through the AG (attorney general), asking for cooperation for those countries to help investigate a particular matter,” said Sen. Johnson. “Again, you can put the worst possible spin on it, but you can also understand this is the way prosecutions, investigations are done. There’s nothing improper

per se

by doing that.”

Sen. Johnson also responded to a 2016 oversight letter he signed with other lawmakers asking Ukraine to clean up corruption in its prosecutor general's office. Some say the letter makes the senator's recent comments hypocritical, but he argues new information has surfaced.

"From my standpoint I'm just trying to determine what the truth is,” said Sen. Johnson.

Many of the soon-to-be voters in the high school audience appreciated his visit, and some felt they learned a lot.

"I think he was very well-informed, and he kind of gave us all answers, like more than the news gives us, and I think it was important,” said Meghan Minehan, a senior at the high school.

"The current political climate is so agitated and hate-filled, it's really important for the younger generations to be informed, talk to their senators, talk to who's speaking to them and representing them,” said Jared McDowell, another senior.

For Johnson, even with impeachment inquires and political turmoil, being able to discuss the issues with the next generation is something he values.

"Really great questions on the issues relevant to this country right now. I'm always energized by it. I love the interchange, and it gives me a lot of hope,” said Sen. Johnson.