Washington, D.C. — In response to the Treasury Department’s announcement of sanctions against Russian agent and Ukranian lawmaker Andriy Derkach for attempting to interfere in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, the Congressional Integrity Project is calling on U.S. Senator Ron Johnson to disclose all of his communications with Derkach.
“The intelligence community is sounding the alarm to warn that Russia is again trying to interfere in our elections, and Russian agents like Derkach are doing everything they can to re-elect Donald Trump, including trying to work with Trump ally Ron Johnson,” said Congressional Integrity Project spokesman Michael Czin. “Derkach has reportedly helped Johnson use his Senate committee to carry out a baseless, partisan charade to try to smear Joe Biden. In light of today’s sanctions, Johnson should immediately disclose all of his communications with Russian agents like Derkach so the American people know the full extent of Russia’s efforts to collaborate with Trump allies in the Senate.”
More information is included below:
Ron Johnson’s Relationship With Derkach
DERKACH SAID HE SENT INFORMATION TO JOHNSON AND OTHER REPUBLICANS, AND BELIEVED JOHNSON WAS PUSHING HIS AGENDA
Derkach said he had sent Johnson and other Republicans information on Biden. “In a statement to Politico, Derkach said he had sent Johnson, among other GOP lawmakers, information on Biden. However, Johnson denied receiving or using information from Ukrainian nationals in a joint statement with Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. The senators also affirmed that during a March staff briefing the FBI advised there was, ‘nothing to preclude the continuation of our investigation.’” [Wisconsin State Journal, 8/9/20]
Washington Post: Derkach wrote in a chart that Johnson was among the senators in the U.S. “pursuing his agenda in the United States.” “He has dubbed his Biden campaign “DemoCorruption,” complete with an English-language website and YouTube channel and a conspiratorial flowchart featuring the former vice president and financier George Soros at the center. Among other things, the chart lists influential Americans who Derkach indicated are pursuing his agenda in the United States — including Johnson and Grassley. Derkach told The Post this month that he has sent documents to Johnson’s and Grassley’s Senate committees. ‘I want to point out that we are not interested in Biden as a US presidential candidate,’ he wrote in a text message, adding that he was focused on his activities as vice president.” [Washington Post, 8/5/20]
Derkach said in interviews they provided information to Johnson’s committee – but Johnson denies it. “According to in-depth reports Telizhenko, along with two Russian-linked operatives, Oleksandr Onyshchenko and Andrii Derkach — have been working as ‘collaborators’ in conjunction with Rudy Giuliani. Collectively, they comprise, “Team Giuliani,” Onyshchenko said in an interview. Onyshchenko and Derkach each said in interviews that they provided information to Sen. Johnson’s committee, but Johnson denies it. But this specific denial is something of a ruse.” [Just Security, 8/11/20]
JOHNSON HAS REPORTEDLY USED INFORMATION PROVIDED TO HIS COMMITTEE BY DERKACH IN HIS INVESTIGATION INTO THE BIDENS
Daily Beast: Derkach has “been supplying documents to Republicans on Capitol Hill, where Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is conducting an election-eve investigation into the Bidens.” “That’s the conclusion of the U.S. Treasury Department, which sanctioned on Thursday one of Rudy Giuliani’s Ukrainian allies for interference in the upcoming U.S. elections. Andriy Derkach worked closely with Giuliani—and with the Trump-friendly cable network, OANN—to push accusations of political misconduct against Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Derkach, a member of Kyiv’s parliament and son of a former KGB officer, has also been supplying documents to Republicans on Capitol Hill, where Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is conducting an election-eve investigation into the Bidens.” [Daily Beast, 9/10/20]
Daily Beast: Derkach’s unsubstantiated claims about the Bidens “have been seized upon by Sen. Johnson, who has been heading up a Congressional committee to look into the Burisma affair.” “Derkach’s claims about the Bidens—which the Treasury Department described as ‘unsubstantiated’—have been seized upon by Sen. Johnson, who has been heading up a Congressional committee to look into the Burisma affair.” [Daily Beast, 9/10/20]
Wisconsin State Journal: “Derkach has reportedly been in communication with Johnson’s office as part of the Biden investigation.” “Friday’s release from the office of the director of national intelligence William Evanina specifically called out Russia for using Andriy Derkach, a pro-Russia Ukrainian lawmaker, to spread claims of corruption to hurt Biden’s presidential campaign. Derkach has reportedly been in communication with Johnson’s office as part of the Biden investigation.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 8/9/20]
Politico: Derkach sent information about Biden to Johnson, Grassley, and other Trump allies – Johnson denied receiving the info. “POLITICO also reported that the addendum states that a Ukrainian lawmaker linked to the Kremlin, Andrii Derkach, sent information about Biden to Johnson, Grassley and other Trump allies who have pushed similar corruption claims against the Bidens. The senators have denied receiving such informational packets from Derkach, who has long attempted to tar Biden.” [Politico, 8/5/20]
JOHNSON WORKED “FOR MONTHS” WITH DERKACH’S COLLABORATOR TELIZHENKO
Co-Editor-in-Chief of Just Security Ryan Goodman: “ When Sen. Ron Johnson denies taking info from Derkach, note Johnson’s staff worked FOR MONTHS with Derkach’s collaborator, Telizhenko, who FBI warned is a conduit for Russian disinfo.” “See below re Russian agent. Plus THIS: When Sen. Ron Johnson denies taking info from Derkach, note Johnson’s staff worked FOR MONTHS with Derkach’s collaborator, Telizhenko, who FBI warned is a conduit for Russian disinfo. As @AshaRangappa_ and I wrote: https://justsecurity.org/71947/how-sen-ron-johnsons-investigation-became-an-enabler-of-russian-disinformation-part-i/” [@rgoodlaw, Twitter, 9/10/20]
Johnson and Derkach collaborator Telizhenko were pictured together.
[Talking Points Memo, 8/14/20]
For more information on the Congressional Integrity Project’s work visit: www.congressionalIntegrity.org. For the latest updates, follow @USIntegrityProj on Twitter.
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