McConnell on Burisma, Biden probe: ‘I think it’s worth taking a look at’

Bonnie Cash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is signaling potential support for a probe into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden and Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings. 

“I think it’s worth taking a look at,” McConnell told Fox News during an interview on Thursday night when asked about concerns that the investigation being run by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is political. 
But McConnell said that he doesn’t “tell my committee chairman what to investigate” and defended Johnson, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 
“Senator Johnson’s very responsible, not inclined to be overly partisan on everything that comes along. He’s been trying, as he indicated, to kind of quietly look at this for some time before Biden’s comeback … which made him more likely the nominee,” McConnell said. 
“If you become the front-runner you come under a lot of scrutiny, from the press, from both sides. Joe has been around a long time, he knows that this sort of thing will be looked at when you become the likely nominee of your party,” McConnell added.
McConnell’s comments mark the strongest indication of public support he has shown for the months-long investigation being run by Johnson, as well as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). 
He was previously asked after the end of the impeachment trial if Republicans were now going to target the Bidens, but largely sidestepped taking a position. 
“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 at the time
In addition to Hunter Biden’s work on the board of Burisma, Johnson and Grassley have a wide-ranging probe that is looking at potential wrongdoing during the Obama administration. 
Johnson will try to issue the first subpoena in the Biden-Burisma investigation next week. With Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, opposed, Johnson will need a simple majority to be successful.
Republicans have questioned if Hunter Biden’s 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 is no evidence that either of the Bidens engaged in any criminal wrongdoing. Fact-checkers have also debunked claims that Biden was working with his son’s interest in mind.

Republicans hold a 8-6 majority on the committee, meaning Johnson will need every Republican on the panel to support the subpoena if every Democrat opposes it. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) has not said how he will vote, but he has raised concerns that the investigation looks political. 
Tags Chuck Grassley Gary Peters Joe Biden Mitch McConnell Mitt Romney Ron Johnson

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