Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) just made his move to get some answers on the Burisma, Biden story.
Johnson will force a vote to start issuing subpoenas in the ongoing probe of Hunter Biden, Burisma and others who may have acted improperly.
“As part of the committee’s ongoing investigation, it has received U.S. government records indicating that Blue Star sought to leverage Hunter Biden’s role as a board member of Burisma to gain access to, and potentially influence matters at, the State Department,” Johnson wrote in his letter announcing the move.
From The National Review: Internal State Department email exchanges reported last year showed that Blue Star leveraged the Biden name to secure a meeting between the gas company and State Department officials and then brought his name up again during that meeting. The meetings were part of a longstanding campaign to rehabilitate Burisma’s reputation in Washington following a corruption probe.
Biden obtained a lucrative position on the board of Burisma in 2014 after his father, Democratic 2020 candidate Joe Biden, became vice president. In that role, court records suggested he earned at least $50,000 a month advising the energy company on “transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities,” as his position was described by Burisma.
Biden resigned from the board in April of last year, and it is unclear whether he was aware his name was being used by Blue Star in discussions with the State Department.
From The Hill:
Johnson sent a letter to members of his committee on Sunday saying that it is his “intention to schedule a business meeting to consider a committee subpoena” of a former consultant for Blue Star Strategies, which Johnson noted worked as a U.S. representative for Burisma.
“As part of the committee’s ongoing investigation, it has received U.S. government records indicating that Blue Star sought to leverage Hunter Biden’s role as a board member of Burisma to gain access to, and potentially influence matters at, the State Department,” Johnson wrote in the letter to committee members.
Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.), the top Democrat on the committee, has notified Johnson that he objects to issuing the subpoena over concerns that it could bolster Russian disinformation efforts. Without Peters’s support, Johnson will need a simple majority of the GOP-controlled panel to vote to issue the subpoena.
If Johnson is successful, it would mark the first subpoena to come out of the months-long Republican investigation into Burisma and Hunter Biden, who previously served on the Ukrainian company’s board. It would also escalate what has been a probe that, so far, has largely been limited to letters and some document production.
Johnson wants to subpoena Andrii Telizhenko, a former consultant for Blue Star. Telizhenko, according to Johnson, has said he wants to “cooperate fully” with the investigation but is limited by a nondisclosure agreement.
A word of caution for the GOP – this could backfire in a big way. Biden has been politically damaged by this regardless of whether there was any illegal behavior.
We all know how the swamp works – influence for money and children of the powerful get great jobs and sweetheart deals.
But the Dems still have the House and there are a lot of children of GOP Senators and House members who have been getting by on connections and the power of their families.
There are a few of them working in the White House and I am not talking about Jared Kushner, although the case against Hunter getting that job could easily be made against Jared as well.
Bill Barr’s kids work at Treasury and DOJ, Rudy Guiliana’s kid works in the White House for Trump, and many of these Senators have kids who actively lobby the federal government.
I am not saying don’t do it but they should expect some blowback if only from Bloomberg. He has the money and he knows what he is doing with messaging. The other Dems are terrible at media, and if the GOP is not careful Bloomberg could make Biden seem like he is getting picked on and make this about Jared Kushner, not Hunter. And that would not be good for Trump.
Don’t forget that Kushner’s family has been one of the biggest Dem donors for years.
SCOOP: Chairman Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee @RonJohnsonWI wants to subpoena witness tied to US firm and Burisma where the former Vice President’s son sat on the board. Letter obtained @CBSNews says government records indicate concerns warranted pic.twitter.com/BBoTB0lGh0
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) March 2, 2020