Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) scorched Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) for pushing forward the Biden-Burisma probe while the coronavirus outbreak intensifies.
“This is an inappropriate use of Committee resources, especially as we confront a global pandemic that threatens the lives and economic security of Americans,” he said in a statement.
On Thursday, Johnson sent Peters a letter alerting him that he wanted to issue a subpoena to Blue Star, the D.C. lobbying firm that worked on behalf of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company where Hunter Biden was on the board.
Peters’ office did not confirm whether he will formally object to the Blue Star subpoena. If he does, the full committee will have to vote on it.
In addition to Blue Star, Johnson had wanted to subpoena Andrii Telizhenko, a consultant with the company. Peters and other Democrats raised strong objections to hearing from Telizhenko. The FBI briefed staff earlier this week about Telizhenko and broader disinformation efforts.
An FBI staff-only briefing earlier this week convinced enough committee members that they needed further intelligence briefings before voting on the Telizhenko subpoena, forcing Johnson to cancel the vote and change course.
Democrats object to the probe at large, seeing it as a transparent attempt to smear former Vice President Joe Biden via his son Hunter.
But for now, at least one other committee Democrat is focusing on the specific facet that the probe is a particularly egregious waste of time at the current moment of pandemic.
“At a time of uncertainty for the country, the Senate Homeland Security Committee needs to come together and work in a bipartisan manner to address real challenges,” said Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV). “I’m focused on working for Nevada families by defending access to quality, affordable health care and keeping our communities safe from threats like the Coronavirus. I urge my colleagues to do the same.”