The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee approved on Wednesday its first subpoena as part of an investigation into the relationship between former Vice President Joe Biden and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings.
The Republican senators in the committee approved the subpoena, at the request of the panel’s chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), for Blue Star Strategies in an 8-6 party-line vote.
It will cover records dating back to Jan. 1, 2013, regarding the public relations firm’s work for Burisma.
Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, joined the board of Burisma in April 2014 when the former vice president was leading the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy. He left Burisma in 2019.
Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in mid-2019 to “look into” corruption allegations against the Bidens, noting that Joe Biden forced the ouster in 2016 of a prosecutor who was probing Burisma. The phone call sparked an impeachment inquiry against Trump, leading to his impeachment in December 2019.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) supports the subpoena and said it will provide the Senate with the full picture of Biden’s relationship with Burisma.
“The public deserves to know how a guy was vice president of the United States, who is currently trying to be president, got away with using the U.S. government to force a foreign country to stop investigating a company that was paying his son over $30,000 or $80,000 a month,” he said.
Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) objected to the subpoena and said the “extremely partisan investigation” is pulling apart the committee and will damage the committee’s long tradition of non-partisan oversight.
In a letter provided to Johnson before the voting, Blue Star Strategies Co-founder and CEO Karen Tramontano said that the company is willing to cooperate, had provided information demanded by the committee, and offered to be interviewed.
Tramontano questioned why the committee wanted to vote on the subpoena.
However, Johnson said he disagreed that the company has been cooperating. A spokesman for the committee, Austin Altenburg, said after the vote that the firm’s efforts had been “incomplete” and that the company officials had delayed cooperation for months.
A Biden campaign spokesman, Andrew Bates, said in a statement that Johnson was “running a political errand” for President Donald Trump.
“Senator Johnson should be working overtime to save American lives—but instead he’s just trying to save the president’s job,” said Bates.
Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber and The Associated Press contributed to the report.