GOP senators press State Department for Hunter Biden, Burisma records

GOP senators press State Department for Hunter Biden, Burisma records
© Aaron Schwartz

Two GOP Senate chairmen are asking for the State Department to hand over any documents related to Hunter Biden and a Ukraine energy company.

Sens. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonHillicon Valley: Barr asks Apple to unlock Pensacola shooter's phone | Tech industry rallies behind Google in Supreme Court fight | Congress struggles to set rules for cyber warfare with Iran | Blog site Boing Boing hacked Congress struggles on rules for cyber warfare with Iran Senators set for briefing on cyber threats from Iran MORE (R-Wis.) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate begins preparations for Trump trial Big Pharma looks to stem losses after trade deal defeat Appeals court skeptical of Trump rule on TV drug ads MORE (R-Iowa) — the chairmen of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and Finance Committees, respectively — sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request House panel reinvites Pompeo to deliver Iran testimony MORE seeking details on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial Hillicon Valley: Biden calls for revoking tech legal shield | DHS chief 'fully expects' Russia to try to interfere in 2020 | Smaller companies testify against Big Tech 'monopoly power' Hill.TV's Krystal Ball on Sanders-Warren feud: 'Don't play to the pundits, play to voters' MORE's son, who has emerged as a top target for Republicans.

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The GOP senators wrote that they wanted to "better understand what actions, if any, the Obama administration took to ensure that policy decisions relating to Ukraine and Burisma were not improperly influenced by the employment and financial interests of family members."

The two lawmakers also want to know if the State Department requested that the Office of Legal Advisor or the department's inspector general reviewed "potential concerns and conflicts of interest related to Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma while Vice President Biden reportedly acted as the United States’ top official in Ukraine? If not, why not?"  

The letter, which was publicly released on Thursday, comes as Trump and his allies have latched onto Biden’s connection to Ukraine, and the former vice president seeks the Democratic nomination to challenge Trump in 2020.

As part of the Grassley-Johnson request, the pair is asking for any State Department records involving Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings, as well as any documentation tied to Biden's business partners Devon Archer and Christopher Heinz.

They also appear to be zeroing in on potential contact between Biden and his associates and the Obama State Department. They want to know if Hunter Biden met with then-Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken in 2015 for "advice" and if a March 2016 meeting between Archer and then-Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryBring on the brokered convention 18 progressive groups sign unity pledge amid Sanders-Warren feud Mellman: Democrats — Buckle up for a wild ride MORE took place.

Hunter Biden worked on the board of a natural gas company owned by a Ukrainian oligarch while his father served as vice president. Joe Biden pushed in 2016 for the dismissal of a Ukrainian prosecutor who had been accused of overlooking corruption in his own office, threatening to withhold money if the prosecutor was not fired.

There’s no indication Joe Biden was acting with his son’s interests in mind and the former vice president has denied doing so. But Trump and his allies, including his personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process House Democrats release second batch of Parnas materials Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment MORE, have pushed for an investigation into the Bidens in Ukraine and decried the former vice president as “corrupt.”