Senate panel approves subpoena in Hunter Biden probe

Clay Curtis
May 22, 2020

A Senate committee has voted to issue a subpoena as part of its investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden's son, a move that met immediate opposition from Democrats who said the panel should be focused on overseeing the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.

President Donald Trump was impeached on abuse-of-power and obstruction charges in the Democratic-led House of Representatives for improperly pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

Senator Gary Peters (Democrat-Michigan), the ranking Democrat on the committee, said the probe "risks amplifying efforts of our foreign adversaries to interfere in the 2020 elections". Ron Johnson, has repeatedly insisted that the investigation is not created to hurt Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee in this year's presidential election.

Burisma has been at the center of Trump's so far unsubstantiated allegations of corruption surrounding Biden and his son, Hunter.

Johnson said if a deep dive into the Bidens' dealings with Ukraine show "nothing", then he is "fine" with it, but he argued Americans "deserve the truth" either way.

During the course of that investigation, it was revealed that former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter had been paid a $50,000 a month salary by Burisma despite having no obvious expertise in the natural gas industry.

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A Biden campaign spokesman said in a statement that Johnson was "running a political errand" for Trump.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted 8-6 to authorize the subpoena Chairman Ron Johnson requested for Blue Star Strategies, a United States public affairs firm that worked with Burisma, the Ukrainian company which hired Biden. "Let's see what happened, why did it happen, and the American people can decide in November".

He's also requesting an interview with top Blue Star officials to discuss the subpoena. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who sits on the committee, voted with Republican colleagues to approve the subpoena.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer accused Republicans of promoting "conspiracy theories".

Trump has been clear about his intentions to use Hunter Biden's work in his re-election bid, saying in March that it will be a "major issue" in the campaign.

The company featured prominently in Trump's impeachment as he had asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into it during a July 2019 telephone call. The Senate acquitted him in February. The Democratic investigation conducted by the House along party lines sought to remove the president from office on the basis that he allegedly pressured the Ukrainian government into investigating Hunter Biden.

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