Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) will vote to authorize a subpoena as part of Senate Republicans’ investigation into the Biden family’s dealing with Ukrainian energy giant Burisma.
The announcement comes as Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is readying a request for an interview and documents from former Blue Star Strategies consultant Andrii Telizhenko. Burisma is alleged to have attempted to leverage its relationship with then-board member Hunter Biden to obtain access to the State Department, while his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, was in office. The younger Biden was paid a lucrative $83,000 per month to serve as a board member, despite his lack of expertise in the oil and gas industry.
“Senator Romney has expressed his concerns to Chairman Johnson, who has confirmed that any interview of the witness would occur in a closed setting without a hearing or public spectacle. He will therefore vote to let the Chairman proceed to obtain the documents that have been offered,” Romney spokesperson Liz Johnson said in a statement.
The Utah Republican’s support for the subpoena follows skepticism he expressed about the investigation.
“There’s no question that the appearance of looking into Burisma and Hunter Biden appears political. And I think people are tired of these kinds of political investigations. I would hope that if there is something of significance that needs to be evaluated, it would be done by perhaps the FBI or some other agency that is not as political as perhaps a committee of our body.” he told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday. “We also have a lot of work to do on matters that are not related to Burisma. We probably ought to focus on those things. But I’m going to get the chance today to talk with the chairman and get his perspective.”
After meeting with Johnson in the Senate’s Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), Romney again expressed discomfort with the probe, saying he would prefer that the is performed by an “independent, non-political body.”
Speaking to reporters, Johnson questioned why lawmakers would shy away from looking into the matter.
“I don’t see why anybody would object to getting information from a U.S. company that was engaged in certain lobbying efforts on behalf of a very corrupt oil and gas company in Ukraine,” said the Wisconsin Republican.
Appearing this week on Fox News Channel’s Hannity, President Donald Trump vowed to hammer Biden over the allegations of corruption if he is the Democrat presidential nominee. “That will be a major issue in the campaign. I will bring that up all the time, because I don’t see any way out. I don’t see any way — for them, I don’t see how they can answer those questions. And maybe they can. I hope they can,” the president said. “I’d actually prefer it that they can. But I don’t believe they’ll be able to answer those questions. That was purely corrupt.”