Just a few minutes after the Senate’s vote to acquit President Donald Trump on the two articles of impeachment passed by the House, it was announced that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) sent a letter to U.S. Secret Service Director James Murray requesting the travel documents of Hunter Biden for the time period when he was under Secret Service protection.
The senators seek to investigate “potential conflicts of interest to boost his business ventures in Ukraine and China,” the letter said, according to Fox News.
At issue is “whether Hunter Biden used government-sponsored travel to help conduct private business, to include his work for Rosemont Seneca and related entities in China and Ukraine,” the senators explained.
The heart of the matter is whether there was a legitimate reason for Trump to ask in a July 2019 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky for an investigation into the Bidens in light of Hunter’s lucrative board position with Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Also attracting scrutiny is Hunter Biden’s involvement with investment firm BHR, a joint venture between Rosemont Seneca and Bohai Capital of China.
Closer scrutiny needed
Hunter Biden was one of nine directors of BHR, which received a business license just after Hunter and Joe Biden visited China in 2014. Hunter introduced BHR’s director to the then-vice president, and in 2015 the company joined with Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) to acquire Henniges, which the letter notes represented the largest Chinese investment into the U.S. automotive industry at the time.
The senators have also asked for information on whether Hunter Biden traveled on Air Force One, Air Force Two or any other government aircraft and, if so, whether any other family members traveled with him.
During the House impeachment hearings, career diplomat George Kent testified that he had raised a red flag about Hunter Biden’s potential conflicts of interest when they came to light, but was told by Vice President Biden’s office not to bother him because of his other son Beau’s cancer diagnosis, according to the Washington Examiner.
Throughout the impeachment process, it has seemed obvious to many that, given of his lack of relevant qualifications in the energy sector or in Ukraine, Hunter Biden’s appointment to the Burisma board of directors was due mainly to his ability to provide access to the vice president of the United States who conveniently was also then-President Barack Obama’s point man in Kyiv.
Democrats in denial
Democrats continue to say that no further investigation of the Bidens is needed, calling suspicions about the their activities in Ukraine “conspiracy theories” that have already been debunked.
This has been the case, despite the existence of a video of Joe Biden bragging about using American aid as leverage to bring about the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin in 2016
Shokin, it has been reported, was at the time conducting an investigation into corruption involving Burisma and was even preparing to question Hunter Biden about his role with the company and millions of dollars in fees he had been paid, according to John Solomon at The Hill.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said in a podcast Thursday that the appetite for investigating the Bidens may begin to fade due to Joe Biden’s poor showing in Iowa and lagging poll numbers in New Hampshire, but there are likely numerous other Republican lawmakers who believe that a closer look at potential corruption involving the former vice president is long overdue.