GOP senator plans to ask about Bidens, whistleblower in impeachment trial

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyHawley unveils initiative to rehire workers laid off during coronavirus crisis, bolster domestic production Lawmakers press IRS to get coronavirus checks to seniors Democrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus MORE (R-Mo.) is planning to use his questions during President TrumpDonald John TrumpOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Barr tells prosecutors to consider coronavirus risk when determining bail: report MORE’s impeachment trial to ask about a slew of top GOP targets and Trump opponents.

Hawley, who released his questions on Tuesday, will ask about House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffDemocrats struggle to keep up with Trump messaging on coronavirus Trump defends firing of intel watchdog, calling him a 'disgrace' Democrats seize on Trump's firing of intelligence community watchdog MORE (D-Calif.), the Bidens and the whistleblower at the heart of the impeachment effort. 

Senators will begin asking questions, through Chief Justice John Roberts, for 16 hours, starting Wednesday at 1 p.m., after Trump's defense team wrapped up their opening arguments on Tuesday.

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Hawley, according to his released list, plans to ask about any communication between Schiff and the whistleblower.

The whistleblower reached out to the House Intelligence Committee with concerns about Trump’s behavior toward Ukraine. Democrats argue that whistleblowers routinely reach out to Congress's Intelligence committees; Schiff’s spokesman has said the chairman did not know the details or the name of the whistleblower.

Hawley is also planning to use his questions to get details on Hunter Biden and Burisma. Biden has emerged as a top target for Republicans because of his work for the Ukrainian gas company while his father was vice president. 

Republicans have also seized on Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Health Care: US hits 10,000 coronavirus deaths | Trump touts 'friendly' talk with Biden on response | Trump dismisses report on hospital shortages as 'just wrong' | Cuomo sees possible signs of curve flattening in NY We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen 16 things to know today about coronavirus MORE's push for the dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin because of concerns he was overlooking corruption in his own office. The removal reportedly came while Shokin was investigating Burisma.

“Before Vice President Joe Biden sought to remove Shokin, did the White House Counsel’s Office or the Office of the Vice President legal counsel issue ethics advice approving Mr. Biden’s involvement in matters involving Shokin, despite the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board?” Hawley will ask. 

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There's no evidence that Biden was acting with his son's interests in mind when he pushed for Shokin's dismissal, a position that reflected the views of the Obama administration and U.S. allies in Europe. The former vice president has denied doing so and the GOP claims have been debunked by fact checkers.

It’s unclear if Hawley’s planned questions will actually be asked during the Senate trial.

Republicans are submitting their questions to leadership, which is expected to organize them by topic and try to cull duplicate questions.