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GOP-led panel to hear from former official who said Burisma was not a factor in US policy

GOP-led panel to hear from former official who said Burisma was not a factor in US policy
© Greg Nash

Amos Hochstein, the former senior adviser on international energy affairs to then-Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE, is testifying before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Thursday as part of its probe into the FBI's Russia investigation.

The closed-door testimony will look into the business dealings of Biden’s son Hunter Biden with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company where he previously served on the board.

Hunter Biden’s ties to Burisma have faced renewed scrutiny since the elder Biden became the Democratic presidential nominee. Hochstein is the only person testifying before the committee known to have discussed Burisma with the previous administration.

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Hochstein has told associates that he has Burisma never factored into a change in U.S. policy, according NBC News, and he will reportedly testify that the Obama administration sought to punish Burisma rather than protect it.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonSenate panels to interview former Hunter Biden business associate Friday Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Biden: Johnson should be 'ashamed' for suggesting family profited from their name MORE (R-Wis.), a close ally of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMore than 300 military family members endorse Biden Five takeaways from the final Trump-Biden debate Biden: 'I would transition from the oil industry' MORE's who chairs the committee, has said he expects to have a report completed by this month. 

Johnson's probe comes as Trump and his allies have seized on a discredited theory that as vice president, Biden tried to remove Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin to protect his son. No evidence has indicated that either of the Bidens engaged in criminal wrongdoing, but Johnson has argued that the Bidens created a "real quandary" for the Obama administration and Ukraine officials. 

Democrats have criticized Johnson’s probe as overly political. Earlier this week when the committee voted to to greenlight subpoenas and depositions as part of their investigation, Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Mitt Romney did not vote for Trump in 2020 election Biden: Johnson should be 'ashamed' for suggesting family profited from their name MORE (R-Utah) was undecided and voiced concerns on Wednesday about Johnson’s inquiries.

Romney said the investigation had the “earmarks of a political exercise.” Johnson has said that is not the case but has also commented several times on how the findings of the report could impact the presidential election.

Jordain Carney contributed to this report.