Schumer dubs GOP 'conspiracy caucus' amid Obama-era probes

Schumer dubs GOP 'conspiracy caucus' amid Obama-era probes
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerCould Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? Democratic negotiator: 'I believe we will' have infrastructure bill ready on Monday DACA court ruling puts weight of immigration reform on Democrats MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday knocked Republicans over their multipronged investigations related to the Obama administration.

Schumer, speaking from the Senate floor, said Republicans are on a "wild goose chase," adding that "the conspiracy caucus is back with a vengeance."

"In the Homeland Security [Committee], the Republican chairman ... slanders the family of the president's opponent with conspiracy theories invented by none other than the Kremlin," Schumer said, referring to Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGrassley pressured to run as Democrats set sights on Iowa Sunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe Democrats question GOP shift on vaccines MORE (R-Wis.).

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Schumer then turned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamDACA court ruling puts weight of immigration reform on Democrats Senate braces for a nasty debt ceiling fight Bipartisan group says it's still on track after setback on Senate floor MORE (R-S.C.) "wants to issue a bonanza of subpoenas about yet another conspiracy theory related to the 2016 election in the hopes of diving down as many rabbit holes as can be found."

"The Republican majority is busy following bread crumbs left by Putin and his intelligence services. What a disgrace. What a sham, and what a dereliction of duties," Schumer added.

The Democratic leader’s criticisms come as Senate GOP chairmen in two committees want to issue subpoenas as part of their investigations stemming from decisions made during be Obama administration.

Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted along party lines to issue a subpoena for Blue Star Strategies, a U.S. firm with ties to Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings.

Johnson is requesting documents as part of his investigation into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Republican calls second bout of COVID-19 'far more challenging' Conflicting school mask guidance sparks confusion Biden: Pathway to citizenship in reconciliation package 'remains to be seen' MORE's son Hunter Biden and Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden previously served as a board member.

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Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote early next month on a wide-ranging subpoena for dozens of officials as part of Graham’s investigation into Crossfire Hurricane, the name of the FBI investigation into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign, and into the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.

The investigations have sparked days of tensions with Democrats, who warn that Republicans could inadvertently spread Russian misinformation and view the probes as an attempt to hunt for fodder against the former vice president, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

Republicans have denied that their investigations have a 2020 angle, with Johnson telling reporters on Wednesday that he just wants the “truth.”

But they’ve also acknowledged they want to release their findings before the election. Johnson is planning to release an interim report as soon as June, while Graham has said he wants to release a report in October.