Political News

Jeh Johnson to testify publicly next week

Posted June 14

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will testify next Wednesday before the House intelligence committee in a public hearing, according to a congressional source.

Johnson, who was DHS secretary under President Barack Obama, is the latest high-profile witness to appear publicly in the dual congressional probes into Russia's election interference being conducted by the House and Senate intelligence committees.

Johnson met Tuesday with the leaders of the House intelligence Russia probe, Reps. Mike Conaway of Texas and Adam Schiff of California, and he was interviewed by Senate intelligence committee staff Monday.

"I'm here voluntarily to assist the House intelligence committee on a matter of great importance," the former DHS secretary said after Tuesday's meeting. "So I welcome the opportunity to do that to help strengthen our nation's cybersecurity."

The House and Senate intelligence committees are both conducting separate investigations into Russia's election meddling and possible contacts with the Trump campaign.

The Senate committee has hosted a string of three blockbuster hearings in the past week with senior officials who worked in the Trump administration, including former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The committee also hosted a high-profile hearing which featured both Deputy Attorney general Rod Rosenstein and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats as well as several other intelligence agency chiefs.

The House panel's most recent public hearing was last month with former Obama CIA Director John Brennan.

The hearing with Johnson is a sign that the House investigation is moving forward after intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes stepped aside from the probe in April. Nunes is still signing off on subpoenas dealing with "unmasking" issues, however, which has sparked some grumbling from Democrats on the panel.

On Monday, Johnson would not say whether his assessment of Russian interference has changed since the January intelligence community assessment of Russia's election-related hacking. He also declined to say if the Obama administration should have more actively fought Russian active measures during the campaign.

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