Recording surfaces of Sen. Bert Johnson in ghost employee investigation

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A newly unsealed search warrant documents reveal that the person who may do the most damage to Sen. Bert Johnson's defense is Bert Johnson himself.

The documents say one of Johnson's Senate employees recorded a November 2015 conversation in which she suggested admitting to authorities that she was a ghost-employee.

According to the feds, Glynis Thornton told Johnson: "I'm going to be honest with you, I'm nervous and I'm upset. You think something's wrong about that - just to be honest about it? ... Would that be a problem?"

Johnson allegedly replied: "That would be a huge problem. That would be a huge problem.

Johnson was indicted April 11th and accused of paying a ghost employee $23,000 in taxpayer money.

The feds say Johnson put Thornton on his senate payroll to pay off a $10,000 loan she gave him. They say he hit her up for more money after she became a no-show state employee.

Johnson has said he didn't even know what the feds were investigating.

"We've got to find out what they are even looking for," he said.

Thornton recorded her conversation with Johnson after the feds busted her for bribing a Detroit educational achievement authority official.

The feds say the conversation took place in Johnson's Highland Park home, which they raided in March.

According to a transcript of the conversation, Thornton told Johnson she wasn't trying to get him in trouble, just trying to figure out what would happen if she came clean ...

Allegedly according to the tape:

Thornton: "Would I be in trouble?"

Johnson: "Yeah."

Thornton: "Both of us?"

Johnson: "Yeah."

Johnson's lawyer said outside federal court last week that Johnson did nothing wrong.

Cyril Hall says Thornton is seeking leniency after she was convicted of bribing education achievement authority official Kenyetta Wilbourn-Snap.

"He was dragged into this particular matter by someone who it appears has sustained a conviction and needs a benefit for purposes of sentence," Hall said.