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Romney Could Put an End to Biden Investigation

Mitt Romney (Senator, Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, United States of America) during the panel discussion on "Heavy Duties? Prospects of Global Trade" at the MSC 2020 Date: 14 February 2020 Source: https://securityconference.org/medialibrary/asset/mitt-romney-20200214-1830/ Author: Hentschel / MSC

“People are tired of these kind of political investigations,” Romney said, “and would hope that if there is something of significance that needs to be evaluated, it would be done by perhaps the F.B.I. and some other agency that is not as political as a committee of our body.”

Sen. Mitt Romney, R.-Utah., could thwart GOP efforts to subpoena a consultant related to Democratic candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. Encouraged by President Trump who continues to insist the Bidens acted unethically in Ukraine while Hunter served on the board of Burisma, the Senate Homeland Security Committee is pushing forward with its investigation.

Romney, however, appeared to disagree with the committee’s decision and the intentions behind the inquiry. He holds a seat on the panel which is split 8–6 in favor of Republicans. 

“There’s no question the appearance is not good,” Romney said, according to Politico. He went on to tell the press that he had not yet decided how he would vote. A vote against the subpoena would result in a tie, which would prevent it from happening.

Building a Case

After a strong Super Tuesday performance, Biden has surged to the forefront of the Democratic field for presidential nominee. Consequently, Trump has ratcheted up his criticism of the former vice President. The entire notion of the Bidens acting corruptly while Hunter served on the Burisma board originated as a Trump defense to impeachment proceedings. Alongside his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, the president argued Biden successfully convinced Kiev to fire Chief Prosecutor Viktor Shokin in 2016 because he was investigating Burisma, using his last days in the White House to protect his son’s position.

“That (corruption) will be a major issue in the campaign,” Mr. Trump said in the interview, Nicholas Fandos wrote for the New York Times. “I will bring that up all the time.”

Trump’s allegations against Biden served not only as a defense mechanism during his impeachment by suggesting the other side was the real conspirator, but also as a basis for his reelection campaign. Although Biden was a late entry in the field of candidates, speculation had swirled for months about whether he would toss his hat into the ring.

The president had reason to fear Biden, a seasoned politician who served 8 years with former President Barack Obama, therefore he had to craft a his messaging against him. Bernie Sanders, unlike Biden, affords Trump easy ammunition as he openly runs as a democratic-socialist. In 2016, Clinton was also an easy target thanks to her less-than-charming personality and perceived role in the Benghazi terror attacks. 

Biden, however, offers Trump little to latch onto, aside from his frequent gaffes, of which the president also has plenty. The Democratic candidate had no involvement in scandals and has a lukewarm voting record of minimal surprises.

Trump’s eagerness to turn up dirt on Biden directly led to his impeachment when he threatened to withhold foreign aid to Ukraine unless it publicly announced an investigation into the Bidens.

Enter Ron Johnson

Since the impeachment, Republicans have worked furiously at payback. Before the Senate even voted to acquit, Giuliani jetted off to Ukraine, even giving a television interview from abroad, and vowed to return with evidence of the Bidens’ wrongdoings. Trump’s efforts to bring down Biden caused his own impeachment and since he survived it, why not continue the mission?

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. and chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, announced he we call for a vote next week to subpoena Andrii Telizhenko, a public relations consultant for Burisma. Johnson also pledged to release a report in the coming months detailing the findings of the committee.

In an interview Wednesday, Johnson however insisted that somehow “My investigations are not focused on the Bidens. They just aren’t.” 

He went on to emphasize the importance of determining Biden’s role in the firing of Shokin before the Democratic primary season concludes. Voters deserve to know the truth, he said according to a CNN report.

However, the chairman conveniently ignored the fact that although Biden called for Shokin’s removal over charges of corruption, so did Johnson. His signature is on a letter that demanded “urgent reforms” to the prosecutor’s office, NYT reported. 

Breaking with the Party, Again

“People are tired of these kind of political investigations,” Romney said, “and would hope that if there is something of significance that needs to be evaluated, it would be done by perhaps the F.B.I. and some other agency that is not as political as a committee of our body.”

Romney was the only senator in US history to vote for the removal of a president of his own party. Now, it may be time for him to again serve as the voice of reason for the GOP, which has entirely fell in line with Trump on nearly every issue.

By standing up to Republican efforts to takedown Biden before he seals the nomination, Romney could help put an end to the farce that has become the Biden–Burisma GOP investigation. 

Andrew Bates, spokesman for the Biden campaign, called Johnson out for “abusing congressional authority in a manner that would make the founding fathers spin in their graves.”

Hunter eventually stepped down from the Burisma board of directors. To date, no evidence of illegal or unethical behavior by the Bidens has surfaced.  

Daniel Davis

Daniel Davis is Managing Editor for The Osage County Herald-Chronicle in Kansas and also covers International news for Inside Over, a Milan-based global affairs publication. He graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Outside of writing, he enjoys photography and one day hopes to return to video production. Learn more about him at his website danieldavis.la.

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