A powerful Republican senator who has recently fought off criticism for not issuing subpoenas in the review of the investigation of the Trump campaign says the ranking member on his committee is working to “undermine” efforts to subpoena a former State Department official.
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) is “trying to undermine my investigation with absurd process arguments to delay or derail our subpoena” of Jonathan Winer, who used to work in the State Department.
According to a Senate Intelligence Committee report released this week, Winer destroyed records that British ex-spy Christopher Steele sent him.
Winer also did not disclose the fact he arranged a meeting for Steele with State Department employees until his second interview with investigators.
“After Steeles memos were published in the press in January 2017, Steele asked Winer to make note of having them, then either destroy all the earlier reports Steele had sent the Department of State or return them to Steele, out of concern that someone would be able to reconstruct his source network,” the committee report states.
Winer told investigators: “So I destroyed them, and I basically destroyed all the correspondence I had with him.”
Winer, who has known Steele since at least 2010, said previously that he met with his contact to discuss information in the dossier Steele compiled from second- and third-hand sources. Winer passed on information to Victoria Nuland, another State Department worker.
Johnson this week said Peters “wants to keep the American people in the dark by not letting us ask Jonathan Winer about his correspondence with Steele.”
“Winer admitted to destroying his Steele-related records & now Peters wants to make sure Winer isnt questioned,” he added.
Johnsons office didnt respond when asked how Peters is holding up the subpoena, since Johnson was granted subpoena power by his committee in a narrow 8-6 vote in June.
A spokesman for Peters didnt respond to an inquiry.
Peters wrote to Johnson on Wednesday, claiming the attempt to depose Winer is in clear violation of committee rules.
“The subpoena for his personal appearance for a deposition is therefore unenforceable. In fact, none of the Committees subpoenas for depositions are currently enforceable,” he said in the letter (pdf).
Peters said committee rules enable the ranking member to disapprove of a deposition notice, triggering a full committee vote. Peters said he disapprovRead More From Source