Graham wants Senate panel to probe State Department over Bidens

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate Democrats pump brakes on new stimulus checks Comey, Rice, Clapper among GOP senator's targets for subpoenas amid Obama-era probe Schumer: GOP should 'stop sitting on their hands' on coronavirus bill MORE (R-S.C.) is calling for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to probe ties between the Bidens and Ukraine, including calling State Department officials. 

 
 
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Risch— in a letter to Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezGovernment watchdog: 'No evidence' Pompeo violated Hatch Act with Kansas trips No time to be selling arms to the Philippines Senate panel approves Trump nominee under investigation MORE (N.J.), the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations panel—said that he would wait until after the House impeachment inquiry wraps up before digging into delays in Ukraine assistance and a July 25 call at the center of the impeachment inquiry. 
 
"I believe it would be more appropriate for our committee to wait on examining these matters until after the House completes its process (one way or another)," Risch wrote in the letter, which is dated Oct. 29, but was obtained by The Hill on Tuesday.
 
"At the appropriate time, we will look into these matters in greater detail in consultation with the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence," Risch added.
 
President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE and his allies have latched onto Biden’s connection to Ukraine as the former vice president seeks the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump in 2020.
 
Joe Biden pushed in 2016 for the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had been accused of overlooking corruption in his own office. There’s no indication Joe Biden was acting with his son’s interests in mind, and the former vice president has denied doing so.
 
A State Department official told House investigators last month that he raised concerns with a senior official at the White House in 2015 about Hunter Biden serving on the board of a Ukrainian national gas company because it could be viewed as a potential conflict of interest. 
 
Graham, a vocal ally of Trump's, had previously pledged that he would use the Senate Judiciary Committee to help investigate Ukraine, including inviting Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiSunday shows preview: States begin to reopen even as some areas in US see case counts increase Moussaoui says he now renounces terrorism, bin Laden Democrats launch probe into Trump's firing of State Department watchdog, Pompeo MORE, Trump's personal lawyer, to testify before the panel. 
 
But Graham told reporters last month that he hadn't gotten a final answer from Giuliani and signaled that he was backing down and letting the Senate Intelligence Committee take the lead. 
 
"What I'm trying to do now, quite frankly, is just calm things now. Let the Senate Intel Committee — they were given this task not me, you know those two guys have worked pretty well together — let the Senate do its thing," Graham said
 
The Senate Intelligence Committee is currently reviewing the process behind a whistleblower complaint tied to Trump's actions toward Ukraine. The same complaint has helped drive the House impeachment inquiry, which is investigating if Trump tied Ukraine aid to the country opening an investigation into the Bidens. 
 
Risch indicated to The Wall Street Journal that he would not call State Department officials who had been interviewed as part of the House probe. 

“You would have to talk to Sen. Burr about that,” he told the publication, referring to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrFISA 'reform': Groundhog Day edition Rubio: Coronavirus conspiracy theories could be used in foreign election misinformation campaigns Justice Department closing stock investigations into Loeffler, Inhofe, Feinstein MORE (R-N.C.).

Updated: 3:36 p.m.