Senate Democrats tried last week to block the Republican-controlled Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs from issuing a subpoena for testimony from a Ukrainian who has peddled conspiracy theories central to the extortionate dirt-digging project that got President Trump impeached.
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) moved in a Friday letter to block a subpoena for testimony from Andrii Telizhenko, a former staffer at Ukraine’s embassy in Washington who has spent most of the Trump administration parlaying his stint as a post-Soviet diplomat into unsubstantiated allegations that the DNC colluded with the Ukrainian government to hurt Trump in 2016.
“I remain concerned that the United States Senate and this Committee could be used to further disinformation efforts by Russian or other actors,” Peters’s letter to Johnson disapproving of a Telizhenko subpoena reads.
“Because these efforts pose a threat to our national security, I have asked for this Committee to receive defensive briefings — specifically regarding Mr. Telizhenko — from relevant intelligence community and law enforcement officials, to ensure the Senate is not used to advance any disinformation campaigns.”
Sen. Johnson told Peters in a Sunday letter that the Committee would move forward with a vote on issuing a subpoena to Telizhenko, adding that he was seeking a “narrow” array of documents and that the FBI had provided relevant information about the onetime diplomat.
Telizhenko defended himself as a “patriot of Ukraine” in a statement to TPM.
“The main issue that it has to be investigated what happened in Ukraine under Obama admin. And if the Dems where not guilty they would initiate such investigation themselves from the beginning and show what is true and what is not,” Telizhenko said. “But they choose to discredit anybody who came out with the truth.”
Johnson wants to issue a subpoena to Telizhenko so the Ukrainian national can discuss his work on Burisma with Blue Star Strategies, a D.C.-based lobbying firm that was hired by the gas firm in 2016 to burnish its image.
Telizhenko purportedly gave the Committee information suggesting that he helped the company lobby the State Department.
The allegations bring it all back to what many see is the point of the whole enterprise: dirt on the Biden family. Telizhenko has claimed that Burisma used Hunter Biden’s position on its board to gain some kind of unspecified, unstated benefit from the State Department.
The Senate panel is also probing other allegations of Telizhenko’s, including his unverified claims about the presence of a DNC official at the Ukrainian embassy in 2016.
Read the letter here: