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Politics Senate Dems Plead with Key GOP Senator to Probe Trump-Ukraine

23:50  09 october  2019
23:50  09 october  2019 Source:   thedailybeast.com

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As the investigation into President Trump ’s push to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden intensifies on both sides of the Capitol, Senate Democrats are putting pressure on Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID) to start doing something to get answers about a situation that is quickly

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a letter to Barr and in an interview with Reuters on Thursday that the investigation was being carried out by prosecutors in New York and that unnamed sources had alerted his office that the Department of Justice has taken

As the investigation into President Trump’s push to get Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden intensifies on both sides of the Capitol, Senate Democrats are putting pressure on Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID) to start doing something to get answers about a situation that is quickly becoming a U.S. foreign affairs crisis.

James Risch, Jose Manuel Olivares Marquina, Rick Scott are posing for a picture: REUTERS© Provided by The Daily Beast REUTERS

In a letter sent to Risch on Wednesday, all the Democrats on the committee, led by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), said the panel has a duty to “examine the serious questions raised by these events.”

“As the Committee charged with jurisdiction over U.S. foreign policy, it is incumbent on us to understand fully all the facts, including the circumstances surrounding the delay in U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, the early departure of the U.S. ambassador to Kyiv, the Department of State’s role in these matters, as well as the implications these events may have on U.S-Ukraine relations, and U.S foreign policy more broadly.”

Live updates: Trump says he would cooperate if Democrats ‘give us our rights’; Biden makes most direct demand for impeachment

  Live updates: Trump says he would cooperate if Democrats ‘give us our rights’; Biden makes most direct demand for impeachment A day after the White House announced that it would not cooperate with the inquiry into the Ukraine scandal, Democrats vowed to work to hold the president accountable.“President Trump has indicted himself by obstructing justice, refusing to comply with a congressional inquiry … he’s already convicted himself,” Biden said during a fiery address in New Hampshire.

Sen . Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, discusses President Trump and the Ukraine controversy. #CNN #News.

Sen . Sen . Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, discusses President Trump and the Ukraine controversy.

The senators called on Risch to “promptly convene hearings”—mentioning specifically testimony from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—and use all of the committee’s powers to “fully examine these matters.”

While committees in the Democrat-led House are moving fast on their investigation, the only movement in the GOP-controlled Senate has come from the Intelligence Committee, which has already heard from the acting Director of National Intelligence and is likely to hear from more witnesses in the near future.

Risch, who replaced former Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)—a frequent Trump critic—at the helm of the committee this year, has so far evinced no great interest in the Ukraine matter and has mostly advanced the GOP’s current talking points. “This conversation that the president had with the head of Ukraine is a typical conversation," Risch said on Sept. 25, according to Idaho media.

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Sen . Mazie Hirono (D-HI) says that she believes it is likely difficult for Republican senators to hear the House Managers' case against President Trump during the Senate trial. NPR reporter: Pompeo asked me to find Ukraine on a map. See tense moment that left key GOP senator shaking her head.

Republican Senators Susan Collins, Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski collectively asked President Donald Trump 's impeachment defense team a question during his trial before the Senate .

“What happened is pretty simple, the former President Barack Obama tapped Joe Biden to review the corruption, report on it... to protect the U.S. funds that were there,” he went on. "Within weeks after that, the gas company—the heart of corruption in the Ukraine, hired Joe Biden's son for the tune of $50,000 a month, plus his law firm for another $100,000 a month.”

The committee has released no official statements to date about the Ukraine issue. On Sept. 24, the day that Speaker Nancy Pelosi formalized an impeachment inquiry over the Ukraine news, Risch sent out a press release touting his meeting with the United Kingdom’s new foreign minister. A spokesperson for Risch did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Though few Democrats expected their Republican colleagues to conduct an aggressive investigation into Trump and Ukraine, many had held out hope there would be at least be a few hearings on the issue.

“At a minimum, we should be having hearings about this,” said a Democratic aide. “At a minimum, we should be calling Pompeo to testify. That’s an easy thing.”

That’s left some of them pining for Corker, said the aide. “He obviously wasn’t afraid about standing up to the president. We’re losing a lot of those voices committed to accountability.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Diplomat tells investigators he raised alarms in 2015 about Hunter Biden’s Ukraine work but was rebuffed .
George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, was told in 2015 that then-Vice President Joe Biden didn’t have the “bandwidth” to deal with the matter.George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, testified Tuesday that he worried that Hunter Biden’s position at the firm Burisma Holdings would complicate efforts by U.S. diplomats to convey to Ukrainian officials the importance of avoiding conflicts of interest, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of confidentiality rules surrounding the deposition.

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