“I would say yes, high crime or misdemeanor, I believe she is in violation of both laws,” Johnson told the Beloit Daily News in an interview published Tuesday.
Johnson was referring to two laws related to gathering, transmission or destruction of defense information or official government record.
“She purposefully circumvented it,” Johnson said. “This was willful concealment and destruction.”
Breaking that law, Johnson contends, would constitute one of the criteria for impeachment ― that “high crimes and misdemeanors” part ― even though the FBI has thus far said no reasonable prosecutor would bring a case against Clinton for her handling of classified material in her private email server.
“That was a corrupt conclusion,” Johnson said of the FBI decision to recommend not bringing forth charges.
Johnson is locked in a tight race against former Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, who is expected to win. When Johnson was asked about his endorsement of Donald Trump, he asked how Feingold could defend Clinton’s actions.
Johnson isn’t the first Republican to raise the possibility of impeaching Clinton soon after she takes office. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) told a radio host in October 2015 that Clinton was in a unique position, “because the day she’s sworn in is the day that she’s subject to impeachment, because she has committed high crimes and misdemeanors.”
Fox News also recently laid out what it would take to impeach Clinton, you know, just in case.
Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) also told The Huffington Post recently that, “What the Clintons have done with their so-called charitable organization overshadows anything that anybody else has ever done in history.”
When HuffPost raised the prospect of impeachment, Fleming, who has led the effort in Congress to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, said he’d reserve a decision on that.
“I’m sure that Donald Trump’s going to win so that won’t be necessary,” Fleming said.
But if she did win?
“Well, we’ll see,” Fleming answered.
UPDATE: 11:08 p.m. ― Feingold spokesman Michael Tyler issued a statement criticizing Johnson for his comments.
“Senator Johnson shows us exactly why he wants to stay in Washington: six more years of partisan attacks and endless campaign obsessions,” Tyler said. “Enough is enough.”