Two top Republican senators, Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, have formally requested more information from the State Department as part of an ongoing probe into the Obama administration’s potential conflicts of interest with dealings related to Burisma and Ukraine.
After analyzing material provided by the State Department, Grassley and Johnson are asking the department to hand over more records related to then-Vice President Joe Biden and his communications with Ukrainian leaders in addition to making several key witnesses available for interviews in the investigation.
The two senators are particularly honing in on records surrounding Biden’s connection to the dismissal of former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin who was reportedly investigating the natural gas company Burisma where Biden’s son, Hunter, served on the board. Joe Biden, who dictated U.S. policy towards Ukraine in the Obama White House, once bragged about playing a key role in Shokin’s firing during a panel discussion in 2018. Meanwhile, Hunter Biden was raking in upwards of $50,000 a month on the foreign corporation’s board despite having no prior experience in the energy industry prior to joining the board, a compensation far higher than comparable companies of similar size.
Johnson and Grassley are demanding “all records” related to Joe Biden’s communications with then-Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko to be turned over, “especially with regard to any mention of the Ukrainian Prosecutor Genera’s investigation of Burisma of Viktor Shokin,” on top of records related to the department’s assessments of Shokin including when the U.S. government wanted Ukraine’s top prosecutor removed.
The two senators are also requesting that the department make Ambassadors Bridget Brink and Geoffrey Pyatt available to committee investigators in addition to Elisabeth Zentos, who served on the National Security Council and in 2016, and participated in meetings between U.S.-Ukrainian officials. They also requested to speak with George Kent, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, who was a star witness in the recent presidential impeachment saga.
The senators previously requested records from the January 2016 meeting in question last fall.
Thursday’s demands are the latest in the GOP Senate probe of Biden’s conflicts in Ukraine launched in 2017. In February, senators requested Secret Service travel records of Hunter Biden’s overseas trips to China and Ukraine to determine whether the vice president’s son was using government-sponsored travel to conduct private business.
In 2013, Hunter Biden flew aboard Air-Force Two with his father to China and arranged meetings with Chinese businessmen. Soon after, a series of transactions followed that benefited Hunter Biden’s firm, BHR raising suspicions about the cross-Pacific trip.
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon confirmed in February of the presence of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) from the Treasury Department provided to the Republican-led probe showing “evidence of questionable origin,” related to Hunter Biden’s overseas business.