His strategy harmonizes with plans from other GOP senators.
If the Senate decides to consider new impeachment trial witnesses and documents next week, Sen. Josh Hawley plans to try and force votes on everyone from Adam Schiff to Joe Biden.
The Missouri Republican is preparing to file subpoena requests for witnesses and documents that Democrats and Republicans alike won’t want to vote on. Hawley’s strategy harmonizes with plans from GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky to force votes to hear from Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son who was on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma.
Their tactics are intended to convince a handful of senators to sink a vote next week to consider new evidence in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial. Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens is at the heart of the impeachment case against the president.
If the witness vote succeeds, Hawley aims to force votes on subpoenas for House Intelligence Chairman Schiff (D-Calif.), Vice President Biden, Hunter Biden, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, the still-unnamed whistleblower who reported Trump’s July call with the Ukrainian president and a reported acquaintance of the whistleblower’s.
White House counsel Pat Cipollone hinted at a Schiff subpoena during testimony before the Senate on Saturday by noting he didn’t appear before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on impeachment.
Democrats already forced votes to subpoena acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, former national security adviser John Bolton, and documents related to the administration’s decision-making on aid to Ukraine earlier this week, all of which failed on party lines. Democrats say that the Bidens aren’t relevant to the investigation.
Hawley would also seek communications among the whistleblower, Schiff and his staff, transcripts of Atkinson’s congressional testimony, communications between the House impeachment managers and Democratic presidential candidates as well as documents related to Biden’s drive to oust former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin. Shokin was deeply unpopular with Western officials, who viewed him as corrupt.
There’s no evidence Biden used his position as vice president to benefit his son’s work with Burisma.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said this week he’d rather request an outside counsel investigation in the Bidens than see Congress subpoena them.
A simple majority would be required to consider new evidence next week, but most Republicans oppose the measure and Democrats are currently short the four Republicans they need to win the vote. Several Republican senators are undecided.
Likewise, 51 senators would be required to win votes on issuing subpoenas for additional documents and witnesses.
Author: Burgess Everett
Source: Politico: Sen. Hawley readies subpoena votes for Bidens, Schiff