With the country in freefall under the incompetent leadership of Donald Trump, former Vice President Joe Biden stands poised to seize back the White House this November. Americans have now seen the consequences of letting a reality TV star run the country. The unprecedented economic downturn and unchecked spread of COVID-19 make it clear that we cannot afford to make the same mistake twice.
The Republicans, desperate to maintain their kleptocratic stranglehold on the Oval Office and lacking any real Trump accomplishments to run on, are stooping to increasingly pathetic strategies. Trump’s nonsensical and convoluted “Obamagate” conspiracy theory has been a recent favorite, but for months the GOP has also been targeting Biden’s son Hunter.
It’s worth recalling that it was Trump’s efforts to derail Biden’s presidential aspirations that triggered the inquiry that led to his impeachment. Trump tried to leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine to strongarm the foreign country into opening a sham investigation into Joe Biden and Hunter.
It must be stressed and repeated that there is absolutely nothing to the Ukraine story other than Trump’s corruption. Hunter Biden served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings and not too long after he joined the company, the Obama administration cracked down on corruption in Ukraine. The president directed Biden to ensure that an allegedly corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor named Viktor Sholkin was booted from office, a mission that Biden succeeded at.
Sholkin, in an effort to save face, cooked up the conspiracy theory that Biden targeted him because he was investigating Burisma. In reality, Burisma was investigated by the Ukrainian government, the case was settled, and at no point was Hunter Biden implicated in any wrongdoing. It was a false narrative at the time, nobody paid attention to it, and now Republicans are using it to muddy the waters and smear Joe Biden.
The Hill now reports that Senate Republicans in the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have officially issued the first subpoena in their sham investigation into the activities of the Obama administration. The subpoena was issued for Blue Star Strategies, a company with connections to Burisma.
Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), the chairman of the committee in question, has been fixated on Hunter Biden’s Burisma connections. He intends to interview Blue Star officials in what can only be characterized as a blatant effort to fabricate a political scandal against the Biden family.
The decision to issue a subpoena when it appears Blue Star was willing to fully cooperate on their own reveals the Republicans’ real intention: grabbing headlines. The CEO of Blue Star, Karen Tramontano, sent a letter to Senator Johnson questioning the committee’s action.
“At every opportunity we have indicated to the committee that it is our intention to cooperate. At no time have we ever stated or indicated in any way that we would not cooperate. Therefore, we are puzzled, despite our willingness to cooperate, why the committee is proceeding to vote on a subpoena,” wrote Tramontano.
Democrats are understandably incensed that Republicans are wasting time and energy on a hatchet job like this while a pandemic is raging.
“You made the decision to force a vote on a purely political matter that will do absolutely nothing for those at risk of contracting COVID-19,” said Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), a woman with a reputation for regularly calling out Republican underhandedness.
“This is not a serious bipartisan investigation in the tradition of this committee, and I do not believe we should be going down this road,” said Sen. Gary Peter (D-MI). He said the “extremely partisan investigation is pulling us apart.”
“There is much urgent work for this committee and the Senate as a whole to carry out. This markup is not that work, to put it politely,” said Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH). She slammed the Republican scheme as “partisan nonsense and conspiracy theories.”
Joyce Alene, a former U.S. Attorney under the Obama administration, mirrored the Democrats’ concerns.
We are broken. The same Senators took a pass on subpoenas & testimony regarding the sitting President’s activities & his efforts to cover them up. Could this be any more transparent of an attempt to influence the election? https://t.co/bRjXzoZXuX
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) May 20, 2020
Republicans are making it abundantly clear that they’re going to play dirty to keep their disastrous, deteriorating, cruel president in power. All that this means is that the rest of us have to fight harder, volunteer and donate more, and ensure that Joe Biden emerges victorious in November to restore sanity to this country. We can win. We must.
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Rob Haffey is a writer, filmmaker, and winner of the ScreenCraft Writing Fellowship. He is a graduate of Drexel University.