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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 SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill 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 JohnsonGraham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents Partisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Cruz hires Trump campaign press aide as communications director MORE (R-Wis.).

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Schumer then turned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamPortman on Trump's dominance of GOP: Republican Party's policies are 'even more popular' Overnight Defense: Biden sends message with Syria airstrike | US intel points to Saudi crown prince in Khashoggi killing | Pentagon launches civilian-led sexual assault commission Graham: Trump will 'be helpful' to all Senate GOP incumbents 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 BidenBiden offers support to union organizing efforts Senate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Kavanaugh dismays conservatives by dodging pro-Trump election lawsuits 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.