SPONSORED:

Plan to probe Bidens sparks GOP divisions

A pledge to investigate the Bidens and Ukraine once the impeachment trial wraps is sparking divisions among Senate Republicans. 

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Romney on NRSC awarding Trump: Not 'my preference' McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE and top allies have homed in on former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Biden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan The business case for child care reform MORE’s push to oust a top Ukrainian prosecutor and Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas company, as they’ve sought to counterprogram on the sidelines of the months-long impeachment drama. 

Now, with the trial in the rearview mirror, that chatter is set to move to center stage as Republicans strategize over their next steps. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamMSNBC's Joy Reid pans Manchin, Sinema as the 'no progress caucus' Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (R-S.C.), a vocal ally of Trump’s, is pledging “oversight.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Other GOP senators are warning that it’s time for the Senate to move on after a weeks-long divisive fight that left scars on the chamber’s normally clubby atmosphere. 

“I know there’s been some discussion about the Judiciary Committee taking a look at that. I think what I would like to see happen around here is a return to normalcy,” said Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneMcConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' Democrats face mounting hurdles to agenda The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Congress returns; infrastructure takes center stage MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Republican senator, in response to a question from The Hill about talk within the caucus about investigating the Bidens. 

“People just kind of put their spears down and let’s get back to work and focus on I think what most people in the country think we ought to be doing,” he added. 

Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyCalls grow for national paid family leave amid pandemic Senators urge Energy chief to prioritize cybersecurity amid growing threats Vivek Murthy confirmed as surgeon general MORE (R-La.) said Graham might feel “obligated” as the Judiciary Committee chairman to investigate the Bidens and Ukraine but added he thought the Senate’s focus should be on other priorities. 

He said people when he goes home are not talking about impeachment or the Bidens.

“They are talking about ... the cost of their insulin, they’re talking about the fact that the roads need to be built,” Cassidy said. “That’s what they’re concerned about. I think we need to speak to the American people's concerns.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynOn The Money: Biden seeks GOP support for infrastructure plan | Democrats debate tax hikes on wealthy | Biden, Congress target semiconductor shortage Hillicon Valley: Biden nominates former NSA deputy director to serve as cyber czar | Apple to send witness to Senate hearing after all | Biden pressed on semiconductor production amid shortage Lawmakers, industry call on Biden to fund semiconductor production amid shortage MORE (R-Texas), a member of Graham’s committee, asked if he had any interest in investigating the Bidens, said: “I think an election is the best way to handle that.” 

Still, Graham isn’t the only Republican who is interested in digging into Hunter Biden and Ukraine. 

Minutes after the impeachment trial wrapped this week, Sens. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyNumber of migrants detained at southern border reaches 15-year high: reports Grassley, Cornyn push for Senate border hearing The Hill's Morning Report - GOP pounces on Biden's infrastructure plan MORE (R-Iowa) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonBiden picks vocal Trump critics to lead immigration agencies Trump's early endorsements reveal GOP rift The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings MORE (R-Wis.) — the chairmen of the Finance and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees, respectively — announced they were asking for details of any travel Hunter Biden took with a protective detail when his father was vice president. 

The two chairmen, sometimes in conjunction with Graham, have been sending letters to a slew of departments for months asking for details on Ukraine, Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden and their respective associates. 

The Treasury Department is handing over documents to Grassley and Johnson as part of their probe, a spokesman for Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenThe first Southern state legalizes marijuana — what it means nationally A bold fix for US international taxation of corporations Democrats offer competing tax ideas on Biden infrastructure MORE (Ore.), the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, said on Thursday. 

A GOP aide noted that they’ve also been told the State Department and the National Archives, who also received letters, have documents related to their requests and are expected to hand them over. 

But it’s Graham that has stolen the spotlight after talking daily during the impeachment trial about the need for someone to look into the Bidens. 

“When this is over the Congress will do it, if we can't have an outside entity do it. ... I don't want it to be Lindsey Graham, because it will be hard for me, but if I have to, I will do it,” Graham said late last month during one of his many gaggles and press conferences during impeachment. 

He added during an interview with Fox News Radio’s Brian Kilmeade on Thursday that “the Bidens need to be looked at for what they did. There was an obvious conflict of interest. Hopefully ... the Senate will perform that oversight.” 

Trump and his GOP allies have sought to tie Joe Biden's push in 2016 for the dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin to Hunter Biden's business interests. They've also argued that allowing Joe Biden to work on Ukraine policy while his son was on the board of Burisma was a conflict of interest. 

Fact-checkers have debunked claims that Joe Biden was acting with his son's interest in mind. The former vice president has denied wrongdoing, and there's no evidence that either Biden engaged in any criminal wrongdoing. 

Sen. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerBiden administration faces big decision on whether to wade into Dakota Access fight OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court declines to hear challenge to Obama marine monument designation | Interior reverses course on tribal ownership of portion of Missouri river | White House climate adviser meets with oil and gas companies Senate GOP pushes back on list of participants in oil and gas leasing forum MORE (R-N.D.) said senators shouldn't “turn a blind eye to corruption” but stressed that Congress’s focus should be on things that unite the country. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“As a matter of focus and emphasis and priority, we have a lot to do legislatively, policy-wise. ... That ought to be where we focus, certainly as a body,” Cramer said. 

Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunA number of Republican lawmakers are saying no to COVID-19 vaccines GOP goes on the attack against Biden relief bill Amazon removing books that frame LGBTQ issues as mental illness MORE (R-Ind.), who got a shoutout from Trump during a White House event on Thursday, noted that Trump’s legal team had made an issue of it during the trial, where they repeatedly brought up Hunter Biden and Ukraine, but that he had “no particular interest in it myself.” 

Senate Republicans aren’t the only ones planning follow-up investigations after impeachment.

House Democrats are weighing their own probes and haven't ruled out subpoenaing former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonBipartisan lawmakers signal support for Biden cybersecurity picks On North Korea, Biden should borrow from Trump's Singapore declaration Colin Kahl's nomination will be a disaster for Israel and the region MORE

Bolton emerged as a key figure in the impeachment trial, despite never appearing before lawmakers, after The New York Times reported that he will claim in his forthcoming memoir that Trump tied Ukraine aid to the country announcing investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump: McConnell 'helpless' to stop Biden from packing court Senate GOP opens door to earmarks McConnell sidesteps Trump calling him 'dumb son of a b----' MORE (R-Ky.) sidestepped when asked during a press conference this week if Senate Republicans would now focus on the Bidens. 

“I don't tell the committee chairmen what to look at. One of you suggested earlier the House is probably still in the investigatory business. I can only suggest that the Senate could choose to do that as well, but we don't have a dictatorship over in the Senate,” McConnell said. “I don't instruct the committee chairmen as to what to take a look at.”