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Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson says he 'doesn't trust' FBI leadership, Democrats question his motive

Sen. Ron Johnson
Chuck Quirmbach
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Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (center) held a discussion about U.S. border security at the Federal Courthouse in Milwaukee Tuesday. No supporters of Biden administration policies were among the speakers.

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (R) is keeping up his criticism of the leaders of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The two-term incumbent launched his latest round of concerns last week, following the FBI's raid of former President Donald Trump's estate in Florida.

In Milwaukee Tuesday, Johnson told reporters that Trump had a right to declassify some documents and take them from Washington when Trump left the White House.

''So again, I don't trust the FBI. They hold all the cards. They've shown and proven themselves to be untrustworthy. Now, they've seized these documents. We're supposed to rely on them for telling us what it's all about? So again, it is a highly partisan act, and I just don't trust them," he said.

READ: The reason why presidents can't keep their White House records dates back to Nixon

Johnson said he condemns recent threats against the FBI and doesn't want to defund the agency.

"But I do think the FBI needs to be investigated. I am calling on people within the FBI, people of integrity, to come forward as whistleblowers, and it sounds like some of them are," he said.

Johnson wouldn't say how many FBI employees have spoken to his office over the past week or what was discussed.

This isn't the first time the Wisconsin lawmaker has been critical of the FBI. He still claims the agency tried to thrown him off the trail of a Republican-led investigation of Joe Biden's son, Hunter, two years ago. Some Republicans in Congress are preparing for a new probe of the younger Biden next year. The Biden family's supporters say no evidence has emerged to show Hunter Biden's business dealings have affected his father's decisions as president.

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Screengrab from wisdems.org
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Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler

Ben Wikler chairs the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. He said Johnson latest attack on the FBI is a sign the senator doesn't think laws should be applied to the wealthy and well-connected.

"What we see from Ron Johnson now is questioning of law enforcement, because the very clear law, as signed off by a judge that Donald Trump appointed, is being applied to former President Trump. Ron Johnson thinks folks like him, his biggest donors, his biggest political allies shouldn't have to follow the same rules everyone else has to follow in our country," Wikler said on a conference call Tuesday.

Johnson faces Democrat Mandela Barnes in the November election. Barnes has been campaigning the last few days in northern Wisconsin.

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018. He focuses his longform stories on health, innovation, science, technology, transportation, utilities and business.
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