After former Vice President Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday comeback, his business in Ukraine is coming back into the picture.
A Republican probe of the presidential candidate, his son Hunter, and a Ukrainian gas company got an unexpected boost Friday from Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who now says he’ll support a subpoena in the probe, The Hill reported. Sen. Ron Jonson (R-WI) is pressing ahead with the investigation over the objections of Democrats, who accuse him of trying to damage Biden’s candidacy in bad faith.
“We’re proceeding down this path,” Johnson said Wednesday. “If there’s wrongdoing, the American people need to know it. If there is no wrongdoing or nothing significant, the American people need to understand that as well.”
Romney to support Biden-Ukraine subpoena
For months, the mainstream media have insisted that there is “no evidence” of any wrongdoing by Joe or his son Hunter in Ukraine, where Hunter held a lucrative board position at energy firm Burisma Holdings while his dad did government work in the country. Republicans passed on the opportunity to grill Joe and his son during the impeachment of President Donald Trump, but with Trump acquitted and Biden now the favorite to face Trump in November, Republicans are sure to force the issue.
At least one of them is already doing that. Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, announced this week that he will force a vote next week on a subpoena for a consultant with ties to Burisma, Andrii Telizhenko. The former consultant worked for a company that had sought to change the standing of Burisma, considered corrupt by the State Department, with the U.S. foreign service, Fox News reported.
Johnson’s plans appeared to hit a roadblock when Romney, who sits on the committee, said he was concerned about the appearance of “political investigations” of the Bidens. But Romney is now willing to vote for the subpoena after a talk with Johnson.
“Senator Romney has expressed his concerns to Chairman Johnson, who has confirmed that any interview of the witness would occur in a closed setting without a hearing or public spectacle,” said Liz Johnson, Romney’s communications director. “He will therefore vote to let the Chairman proceed to obtain the documents that have been offered.”
Scrutiny for thee, but not for me
Johnson has said that he’ll have a report ready within a month or two. In case he finds anything substantial, Democrats already have their narrative prepared: anyone who has unanswered questions about Joe Biden and Ukraine is working for Russia.
“I am concerned to see that in the Senate there seems to be a renewed interest in furthering these bogus Russian narratives through the use of their investigative powers,” said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who led the failed impeachment effort against President Trump. “I just think it’s so deeply destructive to be effectively working in a concert with Russian propaganda artists.”
Democrats have summarily dismissed Johnson’s probe as a political witch hunt — one they say is timed too conveniently — as Biden appears to consolidate the presidential nomination following a stunning Super Tuesday surge. But Republicans insist that the probe is not political and that there are legitimate questions about Biden’s record that need to be answered. They also note that Johnson’s probe has been going on for months. Johnson first showed interest in the subpoena on February 24, before Biden’s turn of good fortune, The Hill noted.
“These are questions that Joe Biden has not adequately answered,” Johnson said. “And if I were a Democrat primary voter, I’d want these questions satisfactorily answered before I cast my final vote.”
Going by the Democrat standard, any questions about possible corruption involving a Democratic candidate are somehow not allowed. But President Donald Trump has promised to make Burisma an issue. “I will bring that up all the time because I don’t see any way out” for Biden, he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity this week.