Senate Democrat calls for investigation of agencies complying with Hunter Biden requests
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is requesting an investigation into a group of executive branch agencies that are cooperating or considering cooperating with congressional probes into Hunter Biden and his work related to the Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
In a letter sent to the inspectors general at the National Archives, State Department, Treasury Department and Department of Homeland Security, Murphy expressed concern that the agencies are being “weaponized” by President Trump to hurt his political opponents. He argued that the same agencies refused to cooperate with “legitimate congressional investigations” into Trump, including ones focused on bringing articles of impeachment against the president.
“I am deeply concerned that the National Archives and the Departments of State, Treasury and Homeland Security may not be applying a consistent test regarding inquiries made by Congress, choosing to comply with the requests that are designed to damage the president’s political opponents, but refusing to comply with requests into the activities of the president,” Murphy wrote. “This double standard threatens to make these agencies agents of the president’s political campaign, in contravention of federal law.”
Politico first reported on the letter.
Murphy called on the inspectors general at the various agencies to answer a list of questions on the matter by March 23. Among other questions, the senator asked the agencies to provide information on the extent of its cooperation with requests related to Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential. He also asked whether a different standard has been applied to congressional investigations into the president and those into his political opponents.
“It is critical that executive branch agencies remain apolitical and not be made agents of a president’s political operation or reelection campaign,” he said.
Trump’s request for the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens over unfounded allegations of corruption during a phone call in July became central to the president’s impeachment. The Senate acquitted Trump last month.
The corruption allegations stem from Hunter Biden’s time on the board of Burisma Holdings while his father led the Obama administration’s anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are now conducting a broad probe that partly touches on Hunter Biden’s stint on the board of Burisma. Johnson indicated on Monday that he would move forward with a subpoena vote related to the investigation.
The two have also reportedly made requests to the State Department and National Archives and Records Administration for documents related to Hunter Biden and other officials.