House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday accused Republicans of “political retribution” as GOP senators voted to approve a subpoena for a consulting firm linked to the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings as part of an investigation into Hunter Biden’s role on the board of the firm.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted on party lines 8-6, to subpoena Blue Star Strategies, the consulting firm linked to Biden and Burisma. Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, who sits on the committee, voted with his Republican colleagues to approve the subpoena.
Just hours later, Pelosi, D-Calif., blasted Republicans on the committee for the move, saying the subpoena was “a clear act of retaliation and political retribution intended to help the president keep his job.”
“It is sad that the GOP Senate has meekly and weakly chosen to be complicit in the President’s desperate and dangerous political tactics instead of passing legislation to save lives and livelihoods,” Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“I call upon Leader McConnell to ‘take a pause’ in the Senate GOP’s obstruction of meeting the needs of the American people,” she said.
But on the other side of Capitol Hill Wednesday, McConnell blasted Pelosi and House Democrats for playing “perpetual impeachment,” while claiming the GOP-led Senate is working to “govern the country” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
McConnell described Capitol Hill as “a tale of two chambers.”
“Over here in the United States Senate, the lights are on, the doors are open, and we are working for the American people,” McConnell said, noting the Senate has been in session all month working to pass legislation on national security, and hold hearings on the coronavirus crisis.
“And across the rotunda, in the House? Crickets,” McConnell said. “Their lights are off. Their doors are locked. ‘The People’s House’ has shown up for a grand total of two legislative session days since late March.”
He added: “But they did find the time to keep fishing for another impeachment."
House Democrats told the Supreme Court Monday that they are again in the midst of an “ongoing presidential impeachment investigation” as part of their “weighty constitutional responsibility,” and argued that redacted grand-jury material from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe must be turned over for their review.
Top Democrats have repeatedly suggested since President Trump was acquitted on both articles of impeachment in February, that they might initiate new impeachment proceedings.
Democrats, this week, sought testimony, exhibits and transcripts from Mueller’s investigation.
“Perpetual investigation and perpetual impeachment,” he said. “If only someone could have predicted this! If only someone, anyone, had warned that House Democrats opening the Pandora’s box of weak impeachments would affect our country into the future.”
He added: “Of course, Senate and House Republicans warned precisely that. And here we are.”
McConnell lamented that “investigations no longer end when a jury acquits someone and prosecutions no longer end when charges are dropped.”
“The House Democrats would rather spend a fourth consecutive year trying to cram their politics into the legal system than actually govern the country in a pandemic,” he said, adding, “Fortunately … the Senate is up to the job.”
Meanwhile, the subpoena for Blue Star Strategies comes after committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., announced earlier this year his plans to request records from the consulting firm to review potential conflicts of interest in Biden's role on the board of Burisma, and whether individuals at the firm improperly used the relationship with 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son to “influence” U.S. government agencies.
Hunter Biden joined Burisma in April 2014 and, at the time, reportedly connected the firm with Blue Star to help the Ukrainian natural gas firm fight corruption charges. At the time of Biden’s work on the board, then-Vice President Joe Biden was running U.S.-Ukraine relations and policy for the Obama administration.
Biden’s work for Burisma received heightened scrutiny amid Trump’s impeachment last year.
Meanwhile, the head of Blue Star Strategies penned a letter to Johnson and Republicans on the committee on Wednesday morning, highlighting their past cooperation with the panel's requests, and questioning why they would subpoena further documents.
"At every opportunity we have indicated to the Committee that it is our intention to cooperate,” Karen A. Tramontano, the co-founder and CEO of Blue Star, wrote to the committee. “Therefore, we are puzzled, despite our willingness to cooperate, why the committee is proceeding to vote on a subpoena.”
The committee told Fox News that the firm has “delayed” their efforts and that “the American people deserve to know the extent to which the U.S.-based, Democrat-led consulting company leveraged its connections within the Obama administration to try to gain access to and influence U.S. government agencies on behalf of its corrupt client, Burisma.”
"We are looking forward to receiving a full response to all of our questions," a committee spokesperson said.