Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson claimed that some Republican members of his committee have blocked him from subpoenaing officials involved in the investigation into the Trump campaign’s Russia ties even though they approved blanket subpoena power in June, Politico reports.
Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee who is looking into the origins of the probe, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday that fellow Republicans on the panel blocked him from subpoenaing former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and other officials.
"We had a number of my committee members that were highly concerned about how this looks politically," he said, adding that he needs all eight Republicans on the committee to approve a subpoena. "If I lose one, I lose the vote,” he said.
GOP blames Mitt Romney:
The Republican opposing the subpoenas is Trump critic Mitt Romney, according to the conservative blog The Gateway Pundit.
Johnson refused to name names in the interview but Romney did raise concerns earlier this year about the scope of the investigation, though he ultimately voted to give Johnson blanket subpoena authority.
GOP approved subpoenas in June:
Johnson’s claim was curious given that all of the Republicans on the committee approved blanket authority for him to subpoena Comey, Brennan, and others in June.
Pressed on the claim, committee officials “acknowledged that no committee Republicans are blocking Johnson from issuing subpoenas.”
"Committee members want Chairman Johnson to attempt to get voluntary compliance, and also to be fully prepared for interviews by obtaining necessary documents, before compelling testimony," a Johnson spokesman told Politico. "Chairman Johnson has been working for months to gather documents and information from witnesses on a voluntary basis, but will subpoena witnesses when necessary — and as he has mentioned, his patience is wearing thin.”