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Home / Tips and Tricks / The Senate Panel approves further subpoenas to investigate the FBI’s investigation into Russia

The Senate Panel approves further subpoenas to investigate the FBI’s investigation into Russia



The subpoenas sent to officials such as former CIA director John Brennan, former director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former FBI director James Comey are the latest sign that the committee is launching its investigation into political opponents President Donald Trump stepping up ahead of the November election. The subpoenas, approved in a party line vote on Wednesday, were separate from the panel’s investigation into a Ukrainian energy company and former Vice President Joe Biden, which Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson has announced would soon be released.

But the Democrats have accused Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, of using both investigations to smear Trump’s opponents ahead of the elections ̵

1; and driving a narrative driven by Russia-affiliated activists to denigrate Biden.

Utah Republican Senator Mitt Romney expressed concern that the Ukrainian investigation “had the characteristics of a political exercise”.

“It is not the government’s legitimate role, for Congress or for taxpayer costs, to harm political opponents,” Romney said at the committee meeting on Wednesday.

Johnson said he plans to soon release the results of the GOP-led investigation of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, Biden and his son Hunter Biden, who was on Burisma’s board of directors. Johnson told GOP supporters earlier this week that the investigation would reveal “Vice President Biden’s incapacity,” according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

“I don’t think it’s going to do any good for him,” Johnson told reporters on Tuesday.

Trump and his allies repeatedly made unfounded and false claims during the impeachment process last year that Biden and his son acted corruptly in Ukraine, at the center of Biden’s push in Ukraine to remove the country’s attorney general. But these efforts were backed by US politics and Western allies, and even Johnson himself supported them at the time.
Johnson defended the panel’s investigation at the committee meeting on Wednesday. He denied receiving information for the investigation from Ukrainian lawmaker Andrii Derkach, who was sanctioned last week by the US Treasury Department as an active Russian agent spreading disinformation to vilify Biden.

Johnson accused the Democrats of spreading disinformation on their own, claiming he was working with Derkach and saying they had “coordinated smear tests” to “repeat, skew and beautify false allegations.”

The panel’s senior Democrat Senator Gary Peters of Michigan accused Wednesday that Johnson’s investigation was “designed to influence the presidential election.” Andrew Bates, spokesman for the Biden campaign, said Johnson had “admitted the real purpose of this deception: to save Donald Trump’s re-election campaign”.

Romney has previously expressed reservations about Johnson’s investigation of Ukraine as a political endeavor. He voted in favor of the subpoenas on Wednesday, but pointed out the differences between the FBI’s investigation into the FBI’s investigation into the opening of the investigation and the “unmasking” of motions by the Obama administration and Ukraine’s investigation targeting Biden .

Romney said Wednesday that the Ukrainian investigation “had the characteristics of a political exercise from the outset”.

“I fear recent comments in the media only confirmed that perspective,” he added, referring to Johnson’s comments earlier this week.

Romney told CNN on Wednesday that his previous vote in favor of the subpoenas for the Ukraine investigation enabled him to “take some protective measures” as part of the investigation. Romney defied Johnson’s original plan to summon Andrii Telizhenko, a Ukrainian who spread the 2016 electoral conspiracy theories and, like Derkach, worked with the president’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Romney says he has not yet seen the committee report or panel testimony.

Austin Altenburg, a Johnson spokesman, replied to Romney’s comments: “This is Congress. Everything here has implications for politics and elections. The committee has specific powers to investigate conflicts of interest and its investigation into the policies of Burisma and the United States and the United States Ukraine started long before the Democratic presidential candidate was decided. The American people have the right to know what happened and what didn’t. ”

The committee previously approved subpoenas for documents to most of the officials it summoned on Wednesday for deposits. Seven new officials were added to the list in Wednesday’s vote, including former FBI director Andrew McCabe.

The committee intended to deliver a subpoena to an Obama-era State Department official Bridget Brink, who is now the US Ambassador to Slovakia. However, Johnson said Tuesday that the interview was scheduled voluntarily.

A person familiar with the investigation said that Obama administration State Department official Amos Hochstein will also be interviewed by the committee on Thursday. The panel has interviewed numerous Obama-era State Department officials, including George Kent, a key witness during the impeachment process.

This story was updated on Wednesday with further developments.

CNN’s Kara Scannell and Manu Raju contributed to this report.


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