Liz Johnson, spokeswoman for Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), said in a statement Friday that Romney will vote to approve a subpoena for a consultant with knowledge of Hunter Biden’s dealings with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company accused of corruption, Breitbart reports.
Romney’s vote had been in question after the senator remarked publicly that he believed the underlying investigation had possible political motivations.
“There’s no question that the appearance of looking into Burisma and Hunter Biden appears political. And I think people are tired of these kinds of political investigations,” Romney said to reporters on Thursday, suggesting that the FBI could handle any necessary investigations in a more even-handed, independent manner.
Subpoena sought in Burisma probe
According to Breitbart, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ron Johnson (R-WI) will seek a subpoena for documents and testimony from Andrii Telizhenko, a former consultant with Blue Star Strategies, about Burisma and its possible attempt to capitalize on the influence wielded by then-Vice President Joe Biden, whose son Hunter received a lucrative position on the company’s board.
“Senator Romney has expressed his concerns to Chairman Johnson, who has confirmed that any interview of the witness would occur in a closed setting without a hearing or public spectacle,” his spokeswoman said in a statement. “He will therefore vote to let the Chairman proceed to obtain the documents that have been offered.”
Before it became apparent that Romney would not stand in the way of a the subpoena request, Sen. Johnson questioned why any of his colleagues would be reluctant to take a closer look at the matter.
“I don’t see why anybody would object to getting information from a U.S. company that was engaged in certain lobbying efforts on behalf of a very corrupt oil and gas company in Ukraine,” Johnson opined.
Romney in trouble?
Ever since Romney broke with his party and voted to convict President Donald Trump on the impeachment charge of abuse of power, there has been speculation that he could pay a heavy price exacted by his colleagues in Washington as well as his constitutents back home.
In the wake of the February impeachment vote, the Utah Republican Party reportedly considered a series of resolutions in response to Romney’s actions, including one calling for his immediate resignation. In the end, however, the party passed a resolution that praised the president’s acquittal and made pointed reference to the senator’s vote to convict “with zero evidence of a federal crime committed that rises to the level of removal of office.”
While the president has also expressed disdain for “sore loser” Romney’s decision on impeachment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell denied the potential for recriminations within the party, declaring, “We don’t have any dog houses here.”
Despite McConnell’s assurances, it would not have come as a major surprise to many if Romney were to once again side with the Democrats to try to shield the Bidens from scrutiny, especially given the increasing likelihood that Joe Biden will be his party’s nominee to face off against Trump in the November general election.
Time will tell whether Chairman Johnson’s probe of the Bidens and Burisma bears real fruit in the coming days, a feat perhaps made more difficult with Romney in place as a prospective obstacle at each stage of the process.