It’s Time for Senate Intelligence Committee to Act

September 30, 2019 Updated: October 1, 2019

Commentary

The time has come for the Senate Intelligence Committee to use its powers.

This shouldn’t be done as a form of “retaliation,” but because there’s a compelling need to determine whether any individuals engaged in wrongdoing in relation to Ukraine or the events surrounding the recent whistleblower complaint.

As the president continues to face an unprecedented onslaught and the threat of impeachment, the Senate Intelligence Committee cannot sit idly by when the evidence compels the committee to act. Toward that end, and for the sake of the country, the committee must use the tools at its disposal to discover the truth.

Like all congressional standing committees, the Senate Intelligence Committee has broad subpoena powers. It’s time to use those powers.
While this power shouldn’t be used to intentionally harass or intimidate someone, it should be used, for example, when the committee believes that there could be evidence of wrongdoing.

The circumstances surrounding former Vice President Joe Biden’s possible involvement with Ukraine, his (and his son’s) involvement with Burisma Holdings, the occurrences leading up to the whistleblower complaint, and Ukraine’s role in the entire Russia collusion hoax all warrant investigation.

For example, as reported in The Hill:

“Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in crucial U.S. aid to Kiev if Poroshenko did not fire the country’s chief prosecutor. This would have bankrupted the country, so Poroshenko complied on March 29, 2016, and subsequently fired the prosecutor. At the time, Biden was aware that Shokin’s office was investigating Burisma, which employed his son.”

Given this revelation (and the fact that Biden basically admits to that on video), the committee would undoubtedly be interested in Biden’s telephone and bank records since at least 2016. Was he talking to anyone from Ukraine? If so, who was he talking to and for what purpose? Were any unusual deposits made into one or more of his bank accounts? Did he speak with Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, the lead prosecutor who was investigating the company his son was employed by?

The committee could subpoena any and all records (including transcripts or recordings) of Biden’s telephone conversations, should they exist. This includes records from the time that he served as vice president. The committee could also subpoena similar information from Biden’s son, Hunter, and Burisma Holdings, where he was employed.

While the committee would likely face objections to such requests, there’s ample justification to subpoena this information. In a recently filed affidavit (under oath), Shokin stated that he was terminated because Biden was unhappy about his investigation into Burisma and Biden’s personal interest in the company:

“The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings (“Burisma”), a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors.”

Incidentally, according to Shokin, after he was fired, Biden publicly stated (even bragged) that he had him fired.

Moreover, according to a Ukrainian government official memo of a meeting involving Ukraine’s temporary prosecutor Yuriy Sevruk, Burisma Holdings’ American legal team offered “an apology for dissemination of false information by U.S. representatives and public figures about the Ukrainian prosecutors.”

In other words, per the legal team, claims that Shokin was corrupt were false, thereby seriously discrediting Biden’s purported reason for withholding the $1 billion.

In addition to investigating Biden and his son, the committee would undoubtedly want to learn more about the alleged, and now infamous, whistleblower. As is widely known, this individual didn’t have any direct knowledge of the communications (this was confirmed in the recently released whistleblower complaint) and had indications of “political bias … in favor of a rival political candidate,” according to the inspector general of the intelligence community.

The committee would unquestionably want to know how this individual learned about the nature of the telephone call between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian president. Who disclosed this information? Did anyone help this individual prepare the complaint? If so, who? Why didn’t any of the supposed officials referenced in the whistleblower complaint file a complaint of their own, if they were so concerned and the circumstances were so urgent?

While the committee’s efforts to obtain such information would likely be challenged by the lawyer representing the alleged whistleblower (i.e., on privacy grounds), the information is relevant, given that it’s being used as the basis of a potential presidential impeachment.

In light of the compelling information (of which this is only a very small sampling), the Senate Intelligence Committee must act now. The committee has the power to issue subpoenas and to take testimony. It shouldn’t wait any longer to utilize these powers. Rather, it must do so now in an effort to discover the truth.

The American people deserve, and expect, this.

Elad Hakim is a writer, commentator, and attorney. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, The Algemeiner, The Western Journal, American Thinker, and other online publications. 

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.