Senate panel approves subpoena in Biden-related probe as GOP ramps up investigations

Source: CNN | May 20, 2020 | Jeremy Herb

(CNN) – A Senate committee voted along party lines Wednesday to issue a subpoena as part of the Republican-led investigation into the Ukrainian energy firm that hired former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.

The subpoena is one of several steps Senate Republicans are taking to ramp up probes related to the Obama administration and Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee who will likely challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted 8-6 to authorize the subpoena Chairman Ron Johnson requested for Blue Star Strategies, a US public affairs firm that worked with Burisma, the Ukrainian company which hired Biden. Democrats denounced the investigation as a partisan effort to help Trump’s reelection bid.

It’s the first subpoena authorized in Johnson’s investigation into Burisma and Hunter Biden that ramped up following the end of the impeachment trial. The Wisconsin Republican has received documents from the State Department and National Archives and says he expects to release a report laying out the committee’s findings in the coming months.

Before the pandemic, Trump suggested he would make Ukraine a major part of a campaign against Biden, while Trump and his allies have repeatedly made unfounded and false claims alleging that Biden and his son acted corruptly in Ukraine. Burisma was a focus of last year’s impeachment proceedings, as it was the company Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate in their July 2019 call.

One of the Republicans who voted for the subpoena Wednesday, Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, still has reservations about the probe itself. Asked if he thought the investigation was political, Romney told CNN: “Yeah, I do.”


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