Amid fears of global pandemic, Republicans hot on the trail of Trump's Burisma hoax

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 07: Sen. Ron Johnson  (R-WI) leaves a meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Republican National Senatorial Committee on July 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. Mr. Trump and the senators met in an attempt to unify ahead of the upcoming Republican national convention.  (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

A disaster is unfolding before their very eyes, focusing the minds and steeling the hearts of Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill. No, not that disaster, you nitwits! Pandemic-shmandemic. Joe Biden’s back in the presidential hunt, and it’s time to crank up the GOP disinformation machine. To wit, there are only eight months left until the election. No time like the present to start spewing Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about the work of Biden’s son Hunter on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma. 

And it’s not just the GOP kooks: Even Utah Sen. Mitt Romney is backing the idea, according to Bloomberg News. Despite expressing concern over the “unfortunate” appearance of using their power to investigate one of Trump’s chief political rivals, Romney said he would support the efforts of Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson to subpoena records related to Hunter’s service on Burisma’s board. 

“Romney’s spokeswoman, Liz Johnson, said in an email Friday that he won’t block Johnson because the Wisconsin Republican assured him that any witness interviews on the matter would be in closed session,” writes Bloomberg. 

Absolutely, as long as they’re hurtling down that rabbit hole in closed-door sessions, no harm, no foul, amirite?

Specifically, Johnson wants to subpoena records and testimony from Andrii Telizhenko, a former consultant for a U.S.-based public affairs firm that represented Burisma. Johnson has special credentials when it comes to Telizhenko and Trump’s cooked-up Ukraine scandals. Last July, Johnson reportedly bent Telizhenko’s ear for a half-hour about Trump’s other favorite conspiracy theory, that it was Ukraine (not Russia!) that interfered in the 2016 election. That was about two weeks before Trump famously pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for investigations into Biden and 2016—prescient! Johnson, however, has reassured Romney that he won’t don a tinfoil hat during any upcoming depositions. (Okay, that’s actually not true.)

Johnson and Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley have been leading the charge on trying to dig up dirt on Hunter Biden in order to hobble the former vice president in the general election. On Friday, Johnson laughably denied the notion that the GOP’s renewed interest in Biden is politically motivated. “Joe Biden has never satisfactorily answered these questions,” Johnson told reporters. “If I were a Democratic primary voter I would want answers to these questions.”

Thanks for your concern, Ron. But trust me when I say you can take those subpoenas and stick them where the sun don’t shine.

What Democratic primary voters are concerned about is the Trump administration’s horrifically bumbling response to the burgeoning public health crisis overtaking this country. Psst, Ron: Just because Republicans stick their heads in the sand doesn’t mean people in red states won’t die.

 

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