Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the only Republican to vote for Donald Trump‘s removal from office in the recent Senate impeachment trial, said he would vote to subpoena former Burisma Holding consultant Andrii Telizhenko. The motion is part of the party’s investigation into Hunter Biden‘s time at Ukraine’s natural gas company.
As reported by The Hill, Romney spokeswoman Liz Johnson claims that Romney’s support came after Sen. Ron Johnson, chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, eased his concerns with the probe.
“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. He will therefore vote to let the Chairman proceed to obtain the documents that have been offered.”
Not long before expressing his support for the inquiry, Romney warned that the investigation appeared to be a politically motivated attempt to target Joe Biden, the current frontrunner of the Democratic primary, during an election year.
“There’s no question but the appearance of looking at Burisma appears political,” Romney said on Thursday, adding that there is work to be done on issues not related to Burisma.
“We probably ought to focus on those things,” he said.
With Romney’s vote, Johnson is believed to have the simple majority required to subpoena Telizhenko, who is a former Blue Star Strategies consultant.
Romney yesterday vs. Romney today... pic.twitter.com/9BXb6fHs5M— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) March 6, 2020
As reported by CNN, Sen. Gary Peters, the top Democrat on the panel, acknowledged the possibility of a bipartisan effort to reject the subpoena.
“I’m sure they’re evaluating the facts, like I evaluated the facts, and I’m sure they’re also looking at a Homeland Security Committee that should be focused on the important issues related to defending our country.”
Johnson, an ally of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, claims that Telizhenko may be willing to cooperate in the probe. Democrats have been warning of Johnson’s influence and point to his alleged spreading of theories about Ukraine’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
As part of the probe, Johnson and Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley requested numerous documents related to Ukraine-linked government agencies, Burisma, as well as Hunter and his father, Joe Biden.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the U.S. Treasury Department recently handed over financial documents to Republicans as part of the probe into the Bidens. The news is notable because it came after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin refused to hand over Trump’s tax returns to congressional Democrats.