For example, in a report on leaks, Johnson says that over 120 leaks were made in Trump’s first 120 days in office.
“62 of them would have been defined as harming national security, according to the Obama Administration’s definition of that. And that 62 compares with I think the 8 or 9 during both the Bush and the Obama Administration. Just an explosion of leaks,” said Johnson.
He went on to say that these leaks fueled the faulty narrative about Crossfire Hurricane: an investigation in which the FBI spied on staff from the Trump campaign.
Johnson called the leaks that have gone unpunished an unjust abuse of power.
And the abuse, he says, is just part of the problem: resistance is another.
“This is an email that the GSA produced to us—and you can see, we can read the whole thing except for the mobile phone number of the sender of the email. This is the exact same email produced to us by the FBI. As you can see, almost everything is redacted. There’s no reason for things to be redacted,” said Johnson.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department found that sensitive information has improperly poured out from within the Trump Administration, and the media has soaked it up.
Sheryl Atkinson, an investigative journalist who used to work for CBS, testified before the Senate committee.
She says many media outlets started to throw out their values after Trump was elected.
“One of the things I’ve criticized is that in the beginning of the Trump Administration, many news organizations announced that they were suspending their normal ethics and standards that dictate how their news organizations typically deal with things such as use of anonymous sources. That they were suspending these because they said they needed to suspend their standards to cover a uniquely dangerous president,” said Atkinson.
After the hearing, Sens. Johnson and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released hundreds of FBI, DOJ, and State Department files related to that investigation which ultimately found no collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign.
In a joint statement, the senators said it’s important to release documents about this investigation to give the public an idea of what happened.