Mar 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Romney to vote for subpoena of Hunter Biden records after saying probe "appears political"

Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney. Photo: INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) is expected to support a subpoena for records related to the work of former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter for Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Romney's plans emerged just one day after he expressed concern that the investigation "appears" politically motivated, aimed at hurting Joe Biden's presidential run. But a spokesperson for Romney said on Friday the senator changed his mind after Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) assured him the probe will be handled behind closed doors.

Where it stands: Romney split with the GOP last month when he voted to convict President Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. However, Republicans already had enough votes to secure Trump's acquittal.

  • In this case, his likely vote in favor of a subpoena could be critical for Republicans, who have an 8-6 majority on the committee. If he were the sole Republican defector, the motion would fail in a 7-7 tie.

The big picture: Johnson's investigation comes as Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has also embarked on an effort to obtain documents related to the Bidens and Burisma.

What they're saying: “Sen. 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," Romney's spokeswoman Liz Johnson said. "He will therefore vote to let the chairman proceed to obtain the documents that have been offered.”

What to watch: The Senate Homeland Security Committee is scheduled to vote next Wednesday on the subpoena related to the panel's probe of conflict-of-interest allegations against the Bidens.

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