Senate committee votes along party lines to subpoena Blue Star Strategies, firm tied to Ukrainian gas company Burisma

WASHINGTON 

A Senate panel issued its first subpoena Wednesday as part of a Republican effort to probe the Obama administration and former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee heading into November’s polls.  

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted 8-6 along party lines with all Democrats in opposition to subpoena Blue Star Strategies, a firm tied to a Ukrainian gas company on whose board Biden’s son served. 

Blue Star is a public relations firm that worked with Burisma. 

Democrats lashed out at the subpoena, calling it a thinly-veiled attempt to bolster President Donald Trump’s re-election chances ahead of national elections this fall, and a distraction from badly-needed efforts to stem the impacts of the coronavirus pandemics. 

“At this moment when Americans need us to work together this extremely partisan investigation is pulling us apart,” said Senator Gary Peters, the committee’s highest- ranking Democrat. “This is not a serious bipartisan investigation in the tradition of this committee.”

Committee Chairman Ron Johnson told Fox News shortly after the vote that he is “somewhat suspicious” over objections from Democrats, whom he said “protest a little bit too much.”

“Apparently we’re hitting a nerve here. Maybe we’re getting close to finding out some important information,” Johnson told the conservative-leaning television news network.

The subpoena requests documents from Blue Star dating back to 2013 related to the firm’s work for Burisma, and seeks interviews with the agency’s top officials to discuss that work. 

Burisma has been at the center of Trump’s so far unsubstantiated allegations of corruption surrounding Biden and his son, Hunter. 

The company featured prominently in Trump’s impeachment as he had asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into it during a July 2019 telephone call. 

Trump was ultimately acquitted in a Senate trial.

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