Schumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe

Schumer to GOP: Cancel 'conspiracy hearings' on origins of Russia probe
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPoll: Majority of voters say more police are needed amid rise in crime America's middle class is getting hooked on government cash — and Democrats aren't done yet The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Friday that Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal On The Money: Biden, Pelosi struggle with end of eviction ban | Trump attorney says he will fight release of tax returns MORE (R-Ky.) should force members of his caucus to call off hearings and business meetings scheduled next week as part of GOP investigations tied to the Obama administration. 

Schumer, in a letter sent to Senate Democrats, said Republicans have become the "conspiracy caucus."

"The Republican-led Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees — two powerful committees with broad jurisdiction over issues related to the coronavirus — have instead used their majority to chase wild conspiracy theories to appease President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE," Schumer wrote.

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"They have failed the American people by turning the institutions of the Senate into an extension of the President’s re-election campaign. ... [The] Republican Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold yet another hearing, not on the pandemic, but on baseless conspiracy theories related to the 2016 election. Leader McConnell should instruct these committees to cancel these conspiracy hearings,"  Schumer added.

Schumer's letter to Senate Democrats comes as Republicans are ramping up their controversial investigations into Crossfire Hurricane, the name of the FBI's investigation of Russian election interference and the Trump campaign.

Both Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal Graham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate MORE (R-S.C.) and Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions Ron Johnson praises conservative author bashed by Fauci Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans MORE (R-Wis.) — the chairmen of the Judiciary and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees, respectively — are scheduled to hold subpoena votes next week.

Johnson's committee also voted along party lines last week to subpoena Blue Star Strategies, a firm tied to Ukraine gas company Burisma Holdings, as part of its probe into Hunter Biden. 

Former Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE is also scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee, marking the first public hearing to stem from Graham's investigation. 

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Democrats have fumed over the investigations, accusing Republicans of using their gavels to dig into Trump's political enemies ahead of the November election and inadvertently spread Russian misinformation. 

Democrats have also warned that the investigations are a distraction from combatting the coronavirus. Republicans have hit "pause" on passing another relief bill as they review the roughly $2.8 trillion already passed by Congress. 

Schumer, in his letter to Democrats, noted that they will try to pass legislation next week to extend the amount of time businesses have to spend loan money under the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans to companies with fewer than 500 employees.

Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal Break glass in case of emergency — but not for climate change Democrats join GOP in pressuring Biden over China, virus origins MORE (R-Fla.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSenate Democrats press administration on human rights abuses in Philippines Democrats pushing for changes to bipartisan infrastructure deal The Hill's Morning Report - 2024 GOPers goal: Tread carefully, don't upset Trump MORE (D-Md.) had hoped to pass their own fix before a weeklong Memorial Day break, but at least one office objected and stalled the Senate's legislation. 

Democrats are also planning to "dedicate a 'Day of Action' to essential workers" on Wednesday. 

"I urge you to participate and lift up the stories of essential workers from your state," Schumer wrote.