Lindsey Graham will oppose subpoena of Hunter Biden

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Congress eyes killing controversial surveillance program Democrats duke it out in most negative debate so far MORE (R-S.C.) says he will vote against a motion to subpoena Hunter Biden if a majority of colleagues agree next week that additional witnesses and documents need to be summoned for President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE’s impeachment trial.

If Republican colleagues introduce a motion to subpoena former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Vulnerable Democrats brace for Sanders atop ticket MORE’s son, Graham said “I vote against it.”

 

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Republicans have threatened to weaponize the debate over impeachment witnesses by warning that if Democrats and GOP moderates vote to subpoena Bolton, Mulvaney and other senior Trump advisers, they’ll respond in kind by calling controversial witnesses such as the Bidens.

Sen. Ran Paul (R-Ky.) has argued that Trump’s defense team should be allowed to call whatever witnesses they want.

“The president gets to call anybody he thinks would be good for his defense, the prosecution can call who they want, but I don’t think we should selectively call witnesses that don't like the president,” Paul said last week.

Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) says he hasn’t made a decision yet on calling additional witnesses, but he predicts that Trump’s lawyers would want to cross-examine the Bidens.

“I feel pretty confident, though I don’t know it for a fact, that the defense team is going to want to call its witnesses, including but not limited to the Bidens, [and] as a fact witness the whistleblower,” he said.  

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Push for national popular vote movement gets boost from conservatives To avoid November catastrophe, Democrats have to KO Sanders MORE (R-Ky.) has also opened the door to subpoenaing Hunter Biden.

“When you get to that issue, I can’t imagine that only the witnesses that our Democratic colleagues would want to call would be called,” he said.

Graham acknowledged he doesn’t yet know of three other Republicans to vote against subpoenaing Hunter Biden but his opposition to the move all but guarantees that it won’t happen.

“I need some Republicans who would say as much as I want to know more about Burisma and the Bidens, this is not the venue. I’ve got to find four,” he said.

Republicans control 53 seats and Democrats have 47. A motion to subpoena witnesses would deadlock on a 50-50 vote.

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If Graham says that hauling Hunter Biden before the Senate would be going down too much of a political rabbit hole, it’s extremely hard to imagine moderates such as Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Democrats block two Senate abortion bills MORE (R-Maine), Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders takes incoming during intense SC debate Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response | Top official warns virus appears inevitable in US | Democrats block two Senate abortion bills Overnight Energy: Critics pile on Trump plan to roll back major environmental law | Pick for Interior No. 2 official confirmed | JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic MORE (R-Alaska) or Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyOrange County declaring local health emergency in response to coronavirus Why Bernie Sanders won the debate Lawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response MORE (R-Utah) doing so.

Graham said there should be an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and what he did as a highly compensated board member of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company, but he warned that the impeachment trial is not the appropriate venue.

“I don’t want to call Hunter Biden. I don’t want to call Joe Biden. I want someone to look at this when this is done,” he said Friday.

“I don’t think it’s wrong for us to look at the Biden connection in the Ukraine, the $3 million given to the vice president’s son by the most corrupt company in the Ukraine,” he added.

But Graham said he’s going to oppose subpoenas for them because “this needs to end,” referring to the impeachment trial.

“To my Republican friends, you may be upset about what happened in the Ukraine with the Bidens but this is not the venue to litigate that,” he said.

He believes it would be more appropriate for a special investigator such as former FBI Director Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE, who investigated Trump, or someone of his nonpartisan stature to do so. 

—Jordain Carney contributed. Updated at 2:53 p.m.