[Politico] Senate Republicans show little interest in new Biden probes

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Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch said Tuesday that he has no plans to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden over Ukraine, despite being urged to do so by a top Senate Republican and Donald Trump ally.

When asked whether he was going to look into Biden’s role in the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor Victor Shokin — including allegations that it was done to to stop an investigation into Burisma, a top Ukrainian natural gas company on whose Hunter Biden served — Risch said it isn’t something he is considering.

“I’ve got other things I’m doing right now, and I haven’t given it any thought,” Risch told reporters. And that’s how most of his colleagues feel.

Judiciary Committee Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and other GOP hardliners are pushing for a multipronged Biden probe by Senate panels, despite the fact that no evidence exists the former vice president was involved in any Ukraine cover-up. Graham has said he’s going to look into potential abuse of surveillance laws that led to the Russia probe by former special counsel Robert Mueller.


But there appears to be little appetite among other Senate Republicans for an extended effort to investigate Biden, who has already taken a political hit over the Hunter Biden controversy.

Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) has been looking into the whistleblower process overall, although he is not specifically targeting the individual whose complaint triggered the Ukraine scandal.

And Burr acknowledged that he isn’t trying to “relitigate” the events that led to Trump’s impeachment.

“I’ve never conducted an investigation in public, and I’m not going to now,” Burr said when asked whether he planned to subpoena the whistleblower.

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) wouldn’t say whether he had any plans to subpoena the Bidens.

Johnson, though, said his focus was more on alleged efforts by Ukrainian officials to interfere in the 2016 election and whether there was any involvement of Obama administration officials. As with the alleged Biden cover-up of Bursima, no evidence has emerged to show any such links, but Trump seized on the theories during his push to get Ukraine to pursue investigations that would help his political prospects.

“My concern is to really get to the bottom of DNC involvement, meetings in the White House in January 2016, that involved a certain NSC Ukraine specialist, and involved Ukrainian prosecutors. We have to get to the bottom of this,” Johnson said. Johnson and Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have sought thousands of pages of internal documents from the Obama White House, but former President Barack Obama would have to agree to release this information, which doesn’t seem likely at this point.

The top Democrat on Foreign Relations, Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, said Republicans should focus on the real issues facing the country, not the Bidens.

“There’s a lot of things happening in the world that affect the national interest and security of the United States far more than any investigation of the Bidens,” Menendez said. “Looking at Russia, looking at China, looking at North Korea, Iran … It’s ridiculous.”

Source Politco

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