GOP senator to force vote next week in Biden, Burisma probe
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is planning to force a committee vote next week on the first subpoena stemming out of his probe tied to former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, said he will notify members of the panel soon, with plans to force the vote next Wednesday, March 11.
“I have no reason not to believe I don’t,” Johnson said Wednesday when asked if he thought he could get the majority required to issue the subpoena over the objection of Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.), the top Democrat on the committee.
Johnson wants to subpoena Andrii Telizhenko a former consultant for Blue Star Strategies, a U.S. firm that Johnson noted in a letter sent to committee members on Sunday has ties to Burisma Holdings.
According to Johnson, Telizhenko has said he wants to “cooperate fully” with the investigation but is limited by a nondisclosure agreement.
Johnson has been running a broad, multi-pronged investigation, part of which is tied to Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma. Republicans have questioned if the work constituted a conflict of interest given his father’s work on Ukraine during the Obama administration.
The former vice president has denied wrongdoing and there’s no evidence that either Biden engaged in any criminal wrongdoing. Fact checkers have also debunked claims that Biden was working with his son’s interest in mind.
Johnson said he could issue an interim report on his findings within a month or two, which would keep the committee’s investigation in the headlines deep into the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.
“What you’ll probably see on our committee is once we have verified enough information we just might publish an interim report and lay out this is what we know,” he said.
Johnson caveated that his timeline for an interim report depended on how quickly investigators could get access to information.
Peters indicated to reporters on Wednesday that he does not expect Democrats to support the subpoena vote.
He warned in a statement earlier this week that the panel should make sure Senate resources “are not used to advance interference efforts by foreign adversaries that seek to undermine our democracy or put our national security at risk.”
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