Republican-led probes involving Joe Biden gain steam in Senate

Republicans are ramping up investigations involving the presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee, just as campaign season starts to heat up, according to NPR.

The GOP-led Senate is now drilling into Joe Biden’s Ukraine dealings, and a new investigation of the infamous Trump–Russia collusion hoax led by Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) Judiciary Committee is also underway.

Biden-related probes underway

The probes reflect a feeling among Republicans that, with just five months to go before Election Day, corruption involving the Obama administration — and Biden specifically — has never been fully exposed.

Many in the GOP have lingering questions about what role Biden might have played in the Russia collusion hoax after new developments in the Michael Flynn case added to speculation about an effort by President Barack Obama to derail his successor, according to Fox News.

Moreover, Republicans have long accused Biden of flexing his influence in Ukraine while serving as vice president in order protect Burisma Holdings — a company on whose board his son sat — from prosecution. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and the Senate Homeland Security Committee issued a subpoena last month for testimony from a consulting firm with ties to Burisma, NPR noted.

“The public deserves to know how a guy who was vice president of the U.S. who is currently trying to be president got away with using the U.S. government to force a foreign country to stop investigating a company that was paying his son over $80,000 a month,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said, according to NPR.

On Wednesday, Graham summoned his first witness — former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — in a new review of the Russia collusion investigation. Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel in that probe, admitted that he would not have renewed a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page if he had known about material errors and omissions contained within the application to obtain it, according to The Hill.

Democrats slam investigations

Republicans have long said that the FBI acted corruptly in using a salacious dossier to spy on Page– just one aspect of a broad anti-Trump conspiracy that Graham is investigating, with a long witness list that includes former FBI Director James Comey and other foes of the president.

CBS News reports that Graham is now delaying a vote on further subpoenas to allow amendments from Democrats — a decision that will surely frustrate Republican voters who think Graham has not been forceful enough in using his power as chairman of the Judiciary Committee to investigate corruption.

Despite their investment in the Russia hoax and a protracted impeachment, Democrats have accused Republicans of wasting time on politically-charged conspiracy theories, and they have called the latest Republican probes an attempt to help Trump win re-election, making any effort at compromise likely futile.

“There are literally matters of life and death waiting for our committee’s attention but instead this committee is doing the president’s personal bidding,” Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who sits on Graham’s Judiciary Committee, said, according to NPR.

Meanwhile, Republican concerns about the Mueller probe and its precursors have been echoed by Attorney General Bill Barr, whose Justice Department is conducting an ongoing criminal probe of the Russia hoax that some speculate could have major political consequences.

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