Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called for an independent investigation into 2020 Democratic presidential contender and former vice president Joe Biden and his family on Friday evening.
“Here’s what’s stunning to me: that the impeachment managers are telling the United States Senate–and the country as a whole–the Biden allegations have been investigated,” Graham told an assemblage of reporters. “That is a flat untruth.”
National security attorney Bradley P. Moss quickly rubbished Graham’s proposal as a partisan sideshow lacking any legal basis.
“There is no indication any objective law enforcement entity has found a basis to launch a probe into the matter, so it makes sense that the president’s political lapdogs are going to do it for him,” Moss said in an email to Law&Crime.
The South Carolina senator referenced his previous support for former special counsel Robert Mueller‘s years-long investigation of President Donald Trump and his 2016 campaign as a justification for any such Biden probe–and as a potential model for the sort of inquiry he’d like to see “somebody” perform.
“I supported Mueller looking into all things Trump because I believed the country needed to have somebody outside politics to resolve the allegations against the president,” Graham noted before launching into his attempted upbraiding of House Democrats.
“Nobody has done an investigation anywhere near like the Mueller investigation of the Bidens,” Graham said. “And I think they should. And when this is over the Congress will do it, if we can’t have an outside entity do it.”
Citing his longstanding relationship with Biden, however, Graham was adamant that his preference was for some sort of outside counsel far-removed from Congress itself.
“You know why I don’t want to do it? I love Joe Biden. I don’t want to do this,” Graham said. “I don’t want it to be Lindsey Graham, because it will be hard for me, but if I have to I will do it.”
The onetime vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, was controversially hired by a handful of foreign boards of directors that oversaw companies in which Hunter had no expertise whatsoever, an admitted bit of favoritism that occurred due to his family name.
Republicans have salivated for several months at the prospect of making political hay out of the younger Biden’s unearned privilege and position in the business world–attempting to use those connections in order to paint the elder Biden as a patriarch of corruption and influence-peddling. So far, however, GOP efforts to this end have not really been borne out by the truth.
In fact, the GOP’s over-reliance on the idea that Hunter Biden took part in some sort of unknown corruption scheme while serving on the board of Ukraine hydrocarbon company Burisma Holdings LLC was essentially the indirect cause of the 45th president’s historic impeachment.
A series of stories published in The Hill by former Associated Press investigative reporter John Solomon put Trump on a long-and-winding course toward the ignominious honor of becoming the nation’s third impeached president beginning with an April report that then-vice president Biden bragged about having forced Ukrainian officials to fire the Ukrainian prosecutor assigned to an investigation into that natural gas firm.
Trump read–or heard about–those Solomon reports, eventually leading to the infamous July 25, 2019 “perfect” phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Still, little, if anything, has come from the Biden-Ukraine story line except for the ongoing impeachment process. The southern senator’s insistence on dredging up the narrative, however, is likely to play well with the Republican Party’s base–and Graham isn’t alone in his quest among Senate Republicans to dig up dirt on the Biden family in the name of alleged corruption.
Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have tendered several inquiries to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seeking information related to Biden and Burisma. The duo sent no less than three such requests beginning late last year. Graham himself sent Pompeo a similar letter in November.
[image via Mario Tama/Getty Images]