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In new letter, Johnson and Grassley claim Pelosi, Schiff spreading disinformation on foreign intel

Dems 'more interested in grabbing headlines and scoring political points,' senators argue

Updated: August 5, 2020 - 4:32pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

GOP Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin are again criticizing Democratic colleagues for what the say was a disinformation campaign disguised as concerns over foreign interference into American elections. 

The senators' letter, released on Tuesday, criticized Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) for what Grassley and Johnson claimed was a cynical manipulation of foreign intelligence for political purposes, including the purported leak of what they described as a "press-ready letter" near the beginning of July. 

The Tuesday letter follows a similar broadside Grassley and Johnson delivered late last month against Senators Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). In each letter, the GOP senators accuse their Democratic counterparts of seizing on the demonstrated threat of foreign interference for their own political ends. 

"Although it is undisputed that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, as they have done in the past and will continue to do in the future, you have twisted this fact beyond recognition to forge a weapon for the purpose of attacking your political opponents no matter its tenuous relationship with facts or the truth," the Republicans wrote this week. 

Claiming that for the past four years they have "promoted and amplified the false narrative that the Trump campaign 'colluded' with Russia," Johnson and Grassley claim that Democrats have "pushed this false narrative even though, behind closed doors, [they] repeatedly saw and heard evidence to the contrary."

"It is certainly our goal to eradicate foreign influence from our elections," the letter declares. "But your use of this issue to knowingly and recklessly promote false narratives for political purposes is completely contrary to that goal."

Congressional Democrats for several years stoked unsubstantiated allegations and rumors that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to hijack the 2016 election. A lengthy special counsel investigation into the matter that wrapped last year found no evidence to support those allegations. 

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