Johnson opens door to subpoenaing whistleblower, Schiff, Bidens

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonRemembering Tom Coburn's quiet persistence Coronavirus pushes GOP's Biden-Burisma probe to back burner GOP seeks up to 0 billion to maximize financial help to airlines, other impacted industries MORE (R-Wis.) opened the door on Thursday to subpoenaing a cadre of top Republican targets as part of his panel's oversight work. 

Pressed if he would issue subpoenas for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffHillicon Valley: Schiff presses intel chief on staff changes | Warren offers plan to secure elections | Twitter's Jack Dorsey to donate B to coronavirus fight | WhatsApp takes steps to counter virus misinformation Schiff calls on DNI Grenell to explain intelligence community changes READ: Schiff plans to investigate Trump firing intel watchdog MORE (D-Calif.), former Vice President Biden or his son Hunter Biden or the whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry, Johnson stressed that he was still trying to collect information.  

"I don't really want to make news on your program because I'm working with Senator Grassley's staff, but we're having meetings in terms of what our next steps are," Johnson told WSAU, a Wisconsin radio station on Thursday.

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"I'm not going to get out ahead of my skis here. ...In order to bring in witnesses for questioning you want to lay the groundwork," Johnson continued. "[A] subpoena is the last step in the process, you go through a multiple step process."  

Asked by the talk radio host if he was willing to say that the Bidens, the whistleblower and Schiff would be subpoenaed "once he got to the bottom of all this," Johnson added "unless they cooperate willingly, and that may happen." 

"If not, yeah I have that subpoena power and I’m not afraid to use it," he said.

Asked if he was willing to say he would use it, Johnson added: "I will use it."

Johnson and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenators demand more details from Trump on intel watchdog firing Democrats target Ernst in bid to expand Senate map Zoom, grocery delivery, self-isolation: How lawmakers are surviving coronavirus MORE (R-Iowa) have fired off a flurry of oversight letters, including requesting any State Department records involving Hunter Biden or Ukraine gas company Burisma. 

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Johnson's radio interview comes as conservatives have fumed over the House's impeachment inquiry, which is investigating whether not Trump tied Ukraine aid to the country opening an investigation into former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

House Republicans tried to call the whistleblower, who filed a complaint that helped guide the investigation, as well as Hunter Biden as witnesses in the public impeachment inquiry hearings. But Democrats rejected their request.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump attacks WHO amid criticism of his coronavirus response Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill UN biodiversity chief calls for international ban of 'wet markets' MORE (R-S.C.) has also come under fierce pressure from the right to call Schiff to testify before his panel. Graham has ruled out calling Schiff, but said during a Fox News interview this week that he believes the Democratic lawmaker should be called as part of an impeachment trial.

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulZoom, grocery delivery, self-isolation: How lawmakers are surviving coronavirus Rand Paul volunteering at hospital after negative coronavirus test Georgia governor says he didn't know asymptomatic people could spread coronavirus MORE (R-Ky.) separately told reporters on Thursday that he was considering forcing a vote on the Senate floor to try to allow the White House to call its preferred witnesses, including Hunter Biden.

"I believe very strongly the president should be able to call his own witnesses. ...The rules that are put forward will be amendable, and so yes I will consider strongly that the president should get his full due process, which to me means bringing in his own witnesses," Paul said.