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 JohnsonSunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' The Hill's 12:30 Report: Ginsburg lies in repose MORE (R-Wis.) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Fight night: Trump, Biden hurl insults in nasty debate GOP seeks to redirect criticism over Trump tax returns Grassley says disclosing Trump's tax records without authorization could violate law 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 PompeoRomney, Murphy 'extremely concerned' about threats to withdraw from US Embassy in Baghdad There is hope for the future: Create USAID 2.0 Trump announces new sanctions targeting Assad regime over human rights abuses MORE seeking details on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPrivacy, civil rights groups demand transparency from Amazon on election data breaches Facebook takes down Trump campaign ads tying refugees to coronavirus Trump crowd chants 'lock her up' about Omar as president warns of refugees in Minnesota 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 KerryMellman: Do debates matter? President Trump faces Herculean task in first debate Trump, Biden have one debate goal: Don't lose 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 GiulianiBiden, Trump clash at vicious, ugly debate Voters split on whether Trump, Biden will win first debate: poll The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Trump's tax return bombshell MORE, have pushed for an investigation into the Bidens in Ukraine and decried the former vice president as “corrupt.”