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House GOP wants Senate Republicans to do more on impeachment

House Republicans say their counterparts in the Senate need to do more to help President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says Putin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE on impeachment.

The House GOP lawmakers note their power is limited on impeachment hearings, but Senate Republicans have the authority to call witnesses and issue subpoenas. Republicans in the lower chamber have expressed frustration that little attention has been paid to allegations that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 presidential election and that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPutin says he's optimistic about working with Biden ahead of planned meeting How the infrastructure bill can help close the digital divide Biden meets Queen Elizabeth for first time as president MORE may have had a serious conflict of interest with regard to Ukraine because of his son Hunter Biden.

Major media outlets, with the exception of Fox News, have given little credibility to these allegations pushed by Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiGiuliani endorses Republican Curtis Sliwa for NYC mayor The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats' agenda in limbo as Senate returns CNN obtains audio of 2019 Giuliani call linked to Ukraine meddling allegations MORE and their allies.   

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Rep. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinAndrew Giuliani to run for New York governor The US has a significant flooding problem — Congress can help GOP lawmakers ask acting inspector general to investigate John Kerry MORE (R-N.Y.), after a marathon day of impeachment hearings Tuesday, complained that allegations that Ukraine interfered in U.S. politics and that Biden was conflicted in his dealings with Ukraine have been considered “debunked” without a more thorough review.

“The Democrats and some in the media like to just say the Burisma/Zlochevsky issue is just totally debunked, even though Burisma is a corrupt Ukrainian company run by a corrupt Ukrainian oligarch hiring Hunter Biden — by Hunter’s Biden own admission — solely because [of] his last name, solely because he’s the vice president’s son,” Zeldin said, referring to Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company that paid Hunter Biden generously to serve on its board, and the company’s owner, Mykola Zlochevsky.

Several Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee said Senate Republicans should delve into this side of the impeachment story.

While Senate Republicans have discussed the possibility of a Ukraine investigation focused on Joe and Hunter Biden, there has been little follow-through.

“I think that’s appropriate,” said Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanHouse Judiciary releases McGahn testimony on Trump Democrats control the language of politics and culture — but for how long? Democrats claim vindication, GOP cries witch hunt as McGahn finally testifies MORE (R-Ohio) when asked if the Senate needs to do more to investigate Ukrainian corruption and links to the Bidens. “The Democrats keep saying it’s some conspiracy theory.”

“I think it would be helpful to get the bottom of all that,” added Jordan, a staunch defender of Trump.

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He pointed to a claim by a member of the Ukrainian parliament that many of the country’s political figures wanted Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump asks Biden to give Putin his 'warmest regards' Huma Abedin announces book deal Mystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records MORE to win the 2016 election, a critical 2016 op-ed aimed at then-candidate Trump by Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Valeriy Chaly, and criticism that Arsen Avakov, the former Ukrainian interior minister, leveled at Trump on Facebook.

“That’s serious,” Jordan said.

He expressed frustration that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffTrump DOJ demanded metadata on 73 phone numbers and 36 email addresses, Apple says DOJ to probe Trump-era subpoenas of lawmaker records The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Sights and sounds from Biden's UK visit MORE (D-Calif.) has refused to call Hunter Biden or request that the whistleblower testify.

Asked if the Senate should step in and call witnesses left out of the House impeachment hearing, Jordan said “heck, yeah” and “sure they should.”

GOP leaders specially appointed Jordan to the Intelligence Committee last month to spearhead Trump’s defense.

Rep. Brad WenstrupBrad Robert WenstrupWhite House pressed on evacuating Afghan allies as time runs out FBI reclassifies 2017 baseball field shooting as domestic terror Scalise demands FBI reopen probe into 2017 baseball shooting MORE (R-Ohio), another member of the House Intelligence Committee, said “there really could be” a bigger role played by Senate Republicans because Schiff has blocked House GOP requests for witnesses who could show that Trump had a legitimate interest in pressing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate corruption.

“We’re really stymied here,” he said.

Wenstrup said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators applaud Biden for global vaccine donation plans Lindsey Graham: Dismissal of Wuhan lab leak theory cost Trump 2020 election Tim Scott: Could be 'very hard' to reach police reform deal by June deadline MORE (R-S.C.) and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze Burr House Democrats to Schumer: Vote again on Jan. 6 probe Lara Trump lost her best opportunity — if she ever really wanted it Trump touts record, blasts Dems in return to stage MORE (R-N.C.) could bolster Republican counterarguments by launching their own investigations.

“I would love for them to do it because that’s the only way I think we’re going to get to the whole truth,” he said.

Graham has given different statements on the need to investigate Ukrainian corruption and the Bidens.

In September, he and Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonHillicon Valley: House targets tech giants with antitrust bills | Oversight chair presses JBS over payment to hackers | Trump spokesman to join tech company | YouTube suspends GOP senator YouTube suspends Ron Johnson for 7 days GOP senators introduce bill to make Iran deal subject to Senate approval MORE (R-Wis.) floated the idea of investigating Biden.

Graham, who is up for reelection next year, told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt someone “should look at corruption” related to the Ukraine but said the probe should be conducted outside the Senate.

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He then told reporters in late September that he didn’t call on Hunter Biden to testify because he didn’t “want to turn the Senate into a circus.”

But after coming back to Washington after a two-week recess in October, Graham said he hadn’t yet made a decision on bringing Biden before the Judiciary Committee and suggested it would depend on what information Giuliani, who had been invited to testify, would provide.

Graham and other Senate Republicans have also come under pressure from Fox News host Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityBook claims Trump believed Democrats would replace Biden with Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama in 2020 election 9 Republicans not named Trump who could run in 2024 Fox Nation to stream primetime Fox News shows in full MORE to do more.

“It’s right now time for Republicans to get tough. Senate Republicans need to pay attention,” Hannity said on his show last week. “Republicans have the power in the Senate, that means you have the power to subpoena people,” he said.

Hannity urged Senate Republicans to subpoena the whistleblower as well as Hunter Biden.

“Did he speak with his father about his Ukrainian business deals? Their statements we already know and it pointed out are in conflict with each other. We know The New York Times tipped off Joe Biden that his son was being investigated by the prosecutor in Ukraine,” he said.

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Hannity also challenged Graham in an interview Tuesday evening about the need to investigate Ukrainian corruption and the Bidens.

When Graham said “nobody’s looked,” Hannity shot back: “I’m looking and what I see is really bad.”

Earlier this month, Graham said he hoped Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim RischJim Elroy RischGOP senators introduce bill to make Iran deal subject to Senate approval US, Iran nuclear talks to resume this weekend House Democrats press key GOP senator to release hold on aid to Palestinians MORE (R-Idaho) would take up a probe of Hunter Biden.

“We need to look at whether or not Hunter Biden corruptly engaged in lobbying. Did Joe Biden ask the prosecutor to be fired because he was investigating his son?” Graham said during an interview with Fox News’s Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamMedia continues to lionize Anthony Fauci, despite his damning emails Fox Nation to stream primetime Fox News shows in full DeSantis says he'll pardon people who violate mask laws MORE.

Risch, however, has said he’s not interested in taking his committee down that path. On Wednesday he said the Senate Intelligence Committee would be more appropriate to investigate Ukraine issues related to the impeachment inquiry.

“In this instance the majority leader has assigned these issues to the Intelligence Committee to hear, so you want to talk to Sen. Burr,” he said.

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But Burr on Wednesday said he right now is focused on the intelligence community’s handling of the whistleblower’s complaint against Trump and is stuck on trying to get the whistleblower to testify before his committee.

Burr said the jurisdiction more appropriately belongs to Risch’s Foreign Relations panel.

“We’re looking at the whistleblower complaint, the process as to who knew about it, how many people they talked to, and what did they do. That’s the extent of what we’re looking at right now,” he said.

The Senate Republican chairmen who have gone the furthest are Johnson and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyHouse unveils antitrust package to rein in tech giants Iowa governor questions lack of notice on migrant children flights to Des Moines Senate crafts Pelosi alternative on drug prices MORE (R-Iowa) who released a letter in September asking the Justice Department to investigate links between Ukrainian operatives and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Johnson and Grassley last week asked Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike Pompeo Sunday shows preview: Infrastructure expected to dominate as talks continue to drag The triumph and tragedy of 1989: Why Tiananmen still matters Pence slams Biden agenda in New Hampshire speech MORE to release any State Department records that may exist related to Hunter Biden’s position as a Burisma Holdings board member. They also asked for information about what steps the Obama administration took to ensure policy decisions related to Ukraine and Burisma were not influenced by the financial interests of the senior officials’ family members.

House Republicans say these are steps in the right direction but they want to see more action.

Rep. Chris StewartChris StewartEPA administrator: We don't plan to return 'verbatim' to Obama-era water regulation On management of Utah public lands, Biden should pursue an accountable legislative process Georgia AG rejects prosecutor's request for Rayshard Brooks case to be reassigned MORE (R-Utah), a third Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said the Senate should investigate the Ukraine- and Biden-related angles of the impeachment debate.

“I think they should and I think they will,” he said.

Stewart said if Democrats are going to argue it was improper to press Zelensky to investigate corruption, “we have to understand the basis of that.”

House Republicans last week submitted to Schiff a list of witnesses they wanted to call before the Intelligence Committee. It included Hunter Biden; Devon Archer, a former board member of Burisma Holdings; and Alexandra Chalupa, a former Democratic National Committee staffer who Republicans say worked with the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington to get “political dirt” on Trump’s campaign.

Senate Republicans have also come under pressure from other prominent conservatives to play a more active role in Trump’s defense.

Rep. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBiden's no-drama White House chief Ex-Trump aide Meadows pushed DOJ to probe multiple election theories: report Trump working with Gingrich on policy agenda: report MORE (R-N.C.), a leading member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Wednesday said Senate Republicans could use their subpoena power effectively.  

“Certainly having a much more robust and fair process from the Senate standpoint on issuing subpoenas would be appropriate since we’re been denied a number of witnesses and due process over on the House side,” Meadows said.

Rep. Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantRepublican Van Duyne wins race for Texas House seat Cook Political Report shifts 8 more House races toward Democrats Democrats seek wave to bolster House majority MORE (R-Texas) said it could help Republicans politically if Senate chairmen got more aggressive in investigating Ukrainian corruption and possible ties to the Bidens.

Asked if a Senate investigation of Ukraine and the Bidens would be helpful, Marchant responded, “From a political standpoint, for my grassroot voter, yes.”

He said “it would be a legitimate thing to do” to use the Senate’s investigative powers to balance the story that House Democrats are laying out through their impeachment probe.