Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said hes planning to force a vote on a subpoena related to an investigation involving Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings and former Vice President Joe Bidens son Hunter, who sat on the board of the company.
Jonhson told members of his committee on March 1 about his plans to subpoena a former consultant for Blue Star Strategies who also worked for Burisma.
Hunter Bidens reportedly lucrative position on the board of Burisma while his father was in office has been the focus of President Donald Trumps and other Republicans ire, although both Bidens have said they have not engaged in any corrupt activities. Burisma and the Bidens came up during a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, which became the focus on the House Democratic-led impeachment inquiry.
“As part of the committees ongoing investigation, it has received U.S. government records indicating that Blue Star sought to leverage Hunter Bidens role as a board member of Burisma to gain access to, and potentially influence matters at, the State Department,” Johnson told other members of the committee, The Hill reported.
Johnson, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have sought documents and records from different agencies related to Hunter Bidens business activities in Ukraine. If senators vote in favor of Johnsons subpoena, it would mark an escalation in the investigation.
Grassley and Johnson, in particular, have been investigating whether there was a conflict of interest when the younger Biden served on the board of Burisma. Ukrainian officials have been investigating the founder of Burisma, Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky, for money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption. His whereabouts are currently not known.
Last month, the two senators submitted a request for Hunter Bidens travel records, coming just days after the Senate voted to acquit Trump on two impeachment charges.
Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the Homeland Security Committee, pushed back against Johnsons letter, claiming that it would bolster alleged Russian disinformation campaigns to sway the 2020 election.
“We need to take every step to ensure the credibility and resources of the U.S. Senate are not used to advance interference efforts by foreign adversaries that seek to undermine our democracy or put our national security at risk,” Peters said in a _