Mar 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

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

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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Senate Republicans enter quarantine ahead of critical coronavirus vote

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More Republican senators entered self-quarantine on Sunday after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: The Senate is expected to vote Monday on a $1.8 trillion stimulus package intended to curb the economic impacts of the coronavirus. As of Sunday evening, Democrats in the House and Senate had not yet agreed to back the bill as proposed by Republicans.

The story behind Ron Johnson's stock sale

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) was one of several senators who came under fire last week after disclosing that they had sold large amounts of stock just before large swaths of the American economy shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The big picture: Many of Johnson's colleagues should indeed be scrutinized by the SEC and/or the Department of Justice, but Johnson himself hasn't done anything worthy of investigation.

Procedural vote on coronavirus stimulus fails for 2nd time in 24 hours

Mitch McConnell, Steven Mnuchin and Chuck Schumer. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

A procedural vote on Senate Republicans' $1.8 trillion Phase 3 stimulus package failed on Monday for the second time in less than 24 hours.

The big picture: Patience is wearing thin on Capitol Hill as talks over providing desperately needed aid to Americans and businesses continue to stall.