Republican Senator to Issue First Subpoena in Hunter Biden, Burisma Probe

Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ron Johnson in Washington, U.S., November 8, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

The Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee plans to issue the first subpoena related to the committee’s probe of Hunter Biden and Ukrainian energy Burisma Holdings.

Senator Ron Johnson said that it is his “intention to schedule a business meeting to consider a committee subpoena,” in a letter the Wisconsin Republican sent to members of the committee on Sunday.

Johnson plans to subpoena former Ukrainian embassy official Andrii Telizhenko, who worked as a consultant for the Washington-based Blue Star Strategies, a firm Burisma hired to combat accusations of corruption within the energy company.

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“As part of the committee’s ongoing investigation, it has received U.S. government records indicating that Blue Star sought to leverage Hunter Biden’s role as a board member of Burisma to gain access to, and potentially influence matters at, the State Department,” Johnson wrote in his letter.

Internal State Department email exchanges reported last year showed that Blue Star leveraged the Biden name to secure a meeting between the gas company and State Department officials and then brought his name up again during that meeting. The meetings were part of a longstanding campaign to rehabilitate Burisma’s reputation in Washington following a corruption probe.

Biden obtained a lucrative position on the board of Burisma in 2014 after his father, Democratic 2020 candidate Joe Biden, became vice president. In that role, court records suggested he earned at least $50,000 a month advising the energy company on “transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities,” as his position was described by Burisma.

Biden resigned from the board in April of last year, and it is unclear whether he was aware his name was being used by Blue Star in discussions with the State Department.

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