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Russia and Ukraine once again brought to the forefront as Senate investigates

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has voted 8-6 to open up depositions and subpoenas of the FBI and Obama administration (https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/516665-gop-votes-to-authorize-subpoenas-depositions-in-obama-era-probe). This vote comes along party lines as all 8 Republicans voted in favor of the motion while all 6 democrats voted against. Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI.) has approximately 40 individuals he hopes to question in the coming weeks. 


This is not the first time partisan fighting has plagued the committee. Sen. Johnson tried to open up subpoenas back in June, but was stopped in August when Democrats accused him of violating committee rules.  Johnson has also faced scrutiny from fellow Republican committee member Mitt Romney (R - UT) who has expressed concern about the investigation, calling it a potential “political exercise”. 


Sen. Johnson hopes to use the subpoenas and depositions to address both the 2016 investigation into potential Russian interference in the presidential election, and the Obama State Department and its connection to the Biden family and Ukraine. The Trump Administration has received continued scrutiny over the past four years for both incidents. Democrats have claimed that Russian interference propelled Trump to the presidency and have launched countless investigations. While some of the reports have pointed to Russian involvement, the President has been able to serve out his current term. In December 2019 the House of Representatives issued articles of impeachment, claiming that President Trump had abused his power and obstructed Congress when he tried to get condemning evidence against Joe Biden’s son Hunter from the Ukranian government. Trump was subsequently acquitted by the Senate in February.


By bringing these issues back to the forefront just months before the election, Senate Republicans are working to reframe the narrative, potentially harming the former vice president’s chances in November. If it does come to light that the Obama administration and the Biden family are guilty, at least to some degree, Trump could surge ahead in the polls. If the investigation proves fruitless it could backfire on Republicans. President Trump has repeatedly accused Democrats of coordinating a witch hunt against him, however Senate Republicans could face the same accusations from the Biden campaign if they come up empty handed.


Image Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

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