Washington, May 21, 2020
A Republican-controlled committee in the U.S. Senate voted along party lines to subpoena documents related to Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden, in a case that President Donald Trump has used to bludgeon his rival ahead of the November elections.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted to issue subpoenas related to Hunter Biden’s work on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian natural gas company.
The subpoena targets documents from lobbying firm Blue Starr Strategies, which worked for Burisma during Biden’s tenure on the company’s board.
Sen. Gary Peters, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said the measure “risks amplifying efforts of our foreign adversaries to interfere in the 2020 elections,” in an apparent reference to Russia.
Trump has made unsubstantiated allegations that the elder Biden used his position as U.S. vice president between 2009 and 2017 to pressure the Ukrainian government to oust a prosecutor to benefit his son and Burisma.
The allegations were at the centre of a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last year that partially led to the president’s impeachment in December after accusations that he improperly pressured Ukraine in an effort to get an investigation into the Bidens.
No evidence of wrongdoing has been uncovered in the Bidens’ dealings with Ukraine, which were supported by the international community at the time.
The younger Biden has acknowledged his lucrative work for the gas company.
The subpoena is one of a number of steps Republicans are taking to ramp up probes that support Trump’s narratives on Russia and the Bidens as the presidential elections near.
Lindsey Graham, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would release the findings of his committee’s investigation into the FBI’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between Russia and Trump campaign officials.
Many in Trump’s camp argue that the FBI’s probe was biased against the president.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department is probing the origins of the Russia investigation, with some Republicans claiming the investigation will vindicate the president.