BELOIT — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Monday he believes Hillary Clinton's actions with her private email server are impeachable offenses should she be elected president.
"She purposefully circumvented it (the law), this was willful concealment and destruction," Johnson said during an interview at the Beloit Daily News.
Johnson cited 18 U.S. Code 793 (f) and 18 U.S. Code 2071, which have to do with the willful destruction or removal from proper custody of information relating to national defense. Johnson honed in on the latter of the two, which reads in part that anyone found to have concealed or removed records "shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States."
"I'm not a lawyer, but this is clearly written," Johnson said. "I would say yes, high crime or misdemeanor, I believe she is in violation of both laws."
Johnson used his stance on Clinton to highlight the difficulty that both party's senatorial candidates — Republican incumbent Johnson and his Democrat challenger, former senator Russ Feingold — have in backing their party's nominee for president.
"How does Feingold defend Clinton?" Johnson said, when asked about defending the GOP nominee Donald J. Trump.
Johnson also said he believes the initial FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server was not in pursuit of truth, but instead was intended to cover up her actions.
"That was a corrupt conclusion," Johnson said of the results of the investigation.
As for supporting Trump, Johnson said he could not ignore the will of 14 million Republican primary voters, though he vowed to “work with whoever is elected president."
Johnson said it comes down to choosing.
"Every election is a binary choice, but she (Clinton) has disqualified herself," Johnson said. "I would love to be voting for Ronald Reagan, and I'm sure the Democrats would rather be voting for Harry Truman, but the reality is that is not our choice."
Johnson also warned of what he sees as a potential threat to the Constitution, especially the Second Amendment, if Clinton is elected.
"A liberal activist court will overturn the Heller decision. They are talking about it," Johnson said, citing the 2008 ruling that upheld an individual’s right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes.
Johnson, who defeated Feingold in 2010 and is seeking his second term, said his priorities lie in growing the economy and reducing the national debt. He blames bloated government for handcuffing businesses, preventing the sort of robust growth that would both promote prosperity and increase government revenues to chip away at deficits and debt.
The senator also criticized the regulatory burden placed on private enterprise, saying the costs and time consumed in compliance create barriers for entrepreneurial expansion.
Johnson, a manufacturer before election to the Senate, said the issue of regulatory excess became even more apparent for him when UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank approached him with a study by the Federal Demonstration Partnership. This study found that 42 percent of scientific researchers' time is spent on activities other than research, with 19.3 percent spent filling out paperwork to comply with federal regulations.
Johnson also identified heightened security as another top priority, saying it starts with securing the border and providing additional leadership in the fight against ISIS. His fear is that the mere existence of ISIS is a threat to the United States which cannot be allowed to continue, even if that means taking more proactive steps at home and abroad.
"You do not want to isolate people (in the United States), but when ISIS exists it does radicalize youth," Johnson said.
The election is next Tuesday, Nov. 8.