Rob Portman: ‘Not Appropriate’ to Ask Foreign Governments to Investigate Biden

US Vice President Joe Biden waves as he walks out of Air Force Two with his granddaughter, Finnegan Biden (C) and son Hunter Biden (R) upon their arrival in Beijing on December 4, 2013. Biden arrived in Beijing on Decmber 4 amid rising friction over a Chinese air zone, needing …
NG HAN GUAN/AFP/Getty Images

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) on Monday criticized President Donald Trump for urging China and Ukraine to look into allegations of corruption against former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, calling the move “not appropriate.”

“The president should not have raised the Biden issue on that call, period. It’s not appropriate for a president to engage a foreign government in an investigation of a political opponent,” Portman said in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch.
On Thursday, President Trump suggested the foreign governments look into the Biden family’s business dealings in the two countries, as House Democrats race to complete a so-called impeachment “inquiry” over the president’s July telephone call with the leader of Ukraine.

“China should start an investigation into the Bidens, because what happened in China is just about as bad as Ukraine,” the president told reporters outside the White House ahead of a visit to Florida to deliver remarks on medicare.

As Breitbart News reported, Hunter Biden’s investment firm locked down a $1.5 billion investment deal with the Bank of China after traveling with his father on Air Force Two to the country in 2013.

Further, President Trump reported his call for Ukraine to look into the Biden family’s activities in the eastern European country, saying: “Nobody has any doubt that they weren’t crooked; that was a crooked deal 100 percent.”

As Breitbart News reported earlier this year:

Biden forced out former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin as he was investigating an energy company called Burisma Holdings, which was paying Biden handsomely as a member of its board. The former vice president even boasted to the Council of Foreign Relations last year that he had threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid unless the prosecutor was fired. (He did not tell the audience about his son’s role.)

Portman’s comments place him in a small group of Republican senators who have expressed disapproval of the president’s suggestion. Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Ben Sasse (R-NE) have also spoken against it.

On Friday, Romney, a staunch critic of Trump, declared the president’s call for a probe into Biden was “wrong and appalling,” while Collins said Saturday that it was “completely inappropriate.”


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