Senate committee plans vote on Hunter Biden-related subpoena
“We’re in the middle of a public health and economic crisis, but instead of holding oversight hearings about testing, PPE, or bringing in the FEMA administrator, Senate Republicans are choosing to pursue diversionary, partisan conspiracy theories to prop up President Trump,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said of the decision to schedule a subpoena vote during the pandemic.
Committee rules require a vote on a subpoena if the minority party objects. The committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan, has vigorously opposed the Biden investigation, and he has demanded defense briefings in advance of any subpoena vote.
Johnson initially planned to subpoena Andrii Telizhenko, a former consultant for Blue Star Strategies, but ultimately withdrew those plans amid concerns about Telizhenko’s credibility given his unsubstantiated claims of coordination between the Ukrainian government and the Democratic National Committee in 2016.
Telizhenko’s involvement in the investigation prompted angry exchanges at a classified all-senators briefing in March centering on election security. Sources described the briefing as “combative” and “personal” as Democratic senators challenged Johnson and argued that his investigation undermines U.S. national security by aiding Russian efforts to sow disinformation in the U.S. political system.
Blue Star Strategies did work for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company whose board Hunter Biden served on. The investigation centers on allegations that Blue Star Strategies, which has withheld certain documents from Johnson, sought to leverage Biden’s role on the board to influence policy matters at the State Department. Biden and his father reject the claims, which have been pushed by President Donald Trump and his allies, in particular his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Johnson has said he plans to release an interim report over the summer on the status of the investigation.