Romney undecided on authorizing subpoenas for GOP Obama-era probes

Romney undecided on authorizing subpoenas for GOP Obama-era probes
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGraham tries to help Trump and McConnell bury the hatchet GOP senator will 'probably' vote for debt limit increase Five questions and answers about the debt ceiling fight MORE (R-Utah) said Tuesday that he is undecided on if he will support authorizing another round of subpoenas and depositions as part of the GOP investigations into the Obama administration and the Bidens.

"You know I'm not quite sure what's going to be in the, in the final vote. So I don't know precisely what's there and I'll have some questions which will inform my decision," Romney told reporters.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonLiberal group launches campaign urging Republicans to support Biden's agenda Domestic extremists return to the Capitol GOP senator: Buying Treasury bonds 'foolish' amid standoff over debt ceiling, taxes MORE (R-Wis.), the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is set to force a vote Wednesday to greenlight subpoenas and depositions as part of two controversial investigations. One broadly touches on the FBI's probe of Russia's 2016 election interference, the transition between the Obama and Trump administration and leaks from the early days of the Trump White House.


The second unrelated investigation deals with the State Department under former President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTo Build Back Better, improving Black women's health is a must Rahm Emanuel has earned M since leaving Chicago's city hall: report 60 years after the Peace Corps, service still brings Americans together MORE, Ukraine policy and the Bidens.

Romney's support would be crucial. Johnson holds an 8-6 majority on the committee, meaning if Romney opposes authorizing the new round of subpoenas and depositions, Johnson's request would fail in a 7-7 tie. No Democrat is expected to support the subpoena authorization.

Johnson acknowledged earlier this year that Republican senators on his panel had some concerns about his probe, noting that he had a difficult time to get authorization to subpoena roughly 30 individuals in June.

Romney previously raised concerns that the probes, which touch on 2020 Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenUkraine's president compares UN to 'a retired superhero' Biden touts 'progress' during 'candid' meetings on .5T plan Biden to tap law professor who wants to 'end banking as we know it' as OCC chief: reports MORE, appear political. However, he voted to authorize the first round of subpoenas. Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Afghan evacuation still frustrates DHS chief 'horrified' by images at border DHS secretary condemns treatment of Haitian migrants but says US will ramp up deportations MORE (R-Ohio), who also voiced concerns at the time about overlap with the Judiciary Committee, is expected to support Johnson's request Wednesday.

"I made that very clear from the beginning that this has all the appearance of a political endeavor rather than a legitimate government oversight role," Romney said Tuesday.

If successful, Johnson will get authorization to subpoena several officials including former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeAndrew McCabe says Nassar case represents 'worst dereliction of duty' he's seen at FBI Capitol Police warning of potential for violence during rally backing rioters: report McCabe says law enforcement should take upcoming right-wing rally 'very seriously' MORE and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr as part of the first investigation.

He would also get authorization to subpoena Bridget Brink, the U.S. ambassador to Slovakia, for questions related to Burisma Holdings, a Ukraine gas company where Biden's son, Hunter Biden, previously served on the board, and "actual or apparent conflicts of interest with U.S.-Ukraine policy."