Biden The Focus Of Two Upcoming Senate Oversight Hearings

( Joe Biden is going to have to face some inquiries leading up to the November presidential election, as Republicans in the Senate have launched investigations into the presumptive Democratic nominee and the Obama administration of which he was a part.

The Senate Judiciary Committee this week will begin a series of hearings on the origins of the 2016 FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible ties with Russia. The Republican members of the committee are interested in discussing and uncovering the decision-making process that was conducted by the administration of then President Barack Obama and Biden, who was his vice president.

In addition, a subpoena was approved by the Senate Homeland Security Committee last month for Blue Star Strategies. The consulting firm has been the focus of investigations into Biden’s son Hunter, as the company represented Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm for which Hunter served on the board.

Florida Senator Rick Scott commented on the situation:
“The public deserves to know how a guy who was vice president of the U.S., 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 $80,000 a month.”

The Biden campaign has accused Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson of aiding President Donald Trump by launching this investigation. Campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said:

“We’re in the middle of the worst public health and economic crisis in a century, and what is Senator Johnson focused on? Running a political errand for Donald Trump by wasting Homeland Security Committee time and resources attempting to resurrect a craven, previously-debunked smear against Vice President Biden.”

For their part, Republicans are leaning on the fact that political pressure over Ukraine is exactly what House Democrats based their impeachment of Trump on not long ago.
Other Democrats in the Senate are angry at the Republicans leading the investigation, as they feel it’s a move to try to smear Biden and get Trump re-elected in November. California Senator Kamala Harris, who is a potential running mate for Biden, said:

“There are literally matters of life and death waiting for our committee’s attention, but instead, this committee is doing the president’s personal bidding.”

As for the oversight hearing into the FBI investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election, the Senate plans to subpoena 53 people. That list includes former Loretta Lynch, a former attorney general; James Comey, a former FBI director; and James Clapper, a former director of national intelligence. Rod Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general, will testify as well.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, recently supported the investigations during a recent floor speech, saying:

“No matter what some Washington Democrats may try to claim, you are not crazy or a conspiracy theorist if you see a pattern of institutional unfairness towards this president. You would have to be blind not to see one.”

Even outsiders such as Jonathan Turley, a Constitutional law professor, believes that even if investigations are indeed politically-charged, they can still hold merit. He said:

“I certainly believe that the oversight interests are stronger when you’re looking at things like the Russia investigation. The Burisma controversy presents a more challenging question, however, I tend to favor some inquiry.”