Sen. Graham begins Senate investigation into the Bidens

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo requesting documentation on former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s work in Ukraine on Thursday, as the week’s public impeachment inquiry hearings in the House drew to a close. 

In his two-page letter, Graham asked for a number of call transcripts, notes and communications involving Joe Biden, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, former Secretary of State John Kerry, a former Ukrainian prosecutor and people connected to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

While impeachment proceedings target President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump’s Republican supporters have attempted to steer the discussion toward the Bidens, alleging that the father-son pair were involved in Ukrainian corruption. 

The anti-Biden theory may have stemmed from the work of right-wing columnist John Solomon, who has used his writing to elevate questionable sources. Although little to no evidence has emerged to support the theory, Republicans have loudly alleged that Joe Biden pushed Ukraine to fire a prosecutor investigating Burisma for corruption in order to shield Hunter Biden, who served on Burisma’s board at the same time his father was working to combat Ukrainian corruption as vice president. 

Nevertheless, Graham made a tenuous connection between Hunter Biden and Ukrainian corruption in his letter. On the same day in 2016 that Ukrainian officials raided the home of Burisma’s founder, Graham wrote, Hunter Biden began following a State Department official on Twitter, “indicating that the two may have initiated conversations regarding Prosecutor General [Viktor] Shokins’ investigation into Burisma.” The date was Feb. 4, 2016. 

In the weeks afterward, Graham wrote, Joe Biden held several phone conversations with then-President Poroshenko to discuss removing Shokin over allegations of corruption; the prosecutor was removed on March 29, 2016.

14 PHOTOS
Hunter Biden through the years
See Gallery
Hunter Biden through the years
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: World Food Program USA Board Chairman Hunter Biden speaks on stage at the World Food Program USA's Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: (L-R) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, Hon. Dan Glickman, and Hunter Biden attend the World Food Program USA's Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: World Food Program USA Board Chairman Hunter Biden (L) and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden attend the World Food Program USA's Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: World Food Program USA Board Chairman Hunter Biden and Kathleen Biden arrive at the World Food Program USA's Annual McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for World Food Program USA)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 12: WFP USA Board Chair Hunter Biden speaks during the World Food Program USA's 2016 McGovern-Dole Leadership Award Ceremony at the Organization of American States on April 12, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Kris Connor/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: Hunter Biden attends the T&C Philanthropy Summit with screening of "Generosity Of Eye" at Lincoln Center with Town & Country on May 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Town & Country)
US Vice President Joe Biden (C) buys an ice-cream at a shop as he tours a Hutong alley with his granddaughter Finnegan Biden (R) and son Hunter Biden (L) in Beijing on December 5, 2013. Biden said on December 5 China's air zone had caused "significant apprehension" and Beijing needed to reduce Asia-Pacific tensions to protect its growing stake in regional peace and stability. AFP PHOTO / POOL / Andy Wong (Photo credit should read ANDY WONG/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 04: U.S. Vice President Joe Biden waves as he walks out of Air Force Two with his granddaughter Finnegan Biden (C) and son Hunter Biden (R) at the airport December 4, 2013 in Beijing, China. Biden is on the first leg of his week-long visit to Asia. (Photo by Ng Han Guan-Pool/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 01: Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden and World Food Program USA Board Chair Hunter Biden taking the Live Below the Line Challenge, eating and drinking on $1.50 a day to raise awareness of global hunger and World Food Programme school feeding efforts around the world, at World Food Program USA on May 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
President Barack Obama, left, Vice President Joe Biden, center, and Hunter Biden share a laugh during the first half of the NCAA basketball game between Georgetown and Duke at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., Saturday January 30, 2010. Georgetown defeated Duke, 89-77. (Photo by Chuck Myers/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 29: Hunter Biden (l) and actor Woody Harrelson pose for a photo at the after party following the 2nd Annual IMPACT Film Festival's screening of "The Messenger" at Posh on October 29, 2009 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (2R) arrives at Arlington National Cemetery with his wife Dr. Jill Biden (R), his son Hunter (L) and his daughter-in-law Kathleen for the internment services for U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy in Arlington, Virginia, August 29, 2009. Kennedy died late Tuesday after a battle with cancer. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Jim BOURG (Photo credit should read JIM BOURG/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - JANUARY 20: Vice-President Joe Biden arrives with his family, wife Jill, sons Hunter and Beau at the reviewing stand to watch the Inaugural Parade from in front of The White House January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, becoming the first African-American to be elected to the President in the US. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Hunter Biden and guest attend the Artists And Athletes Alliance red carpet event at Inaugural Honors ServiceNation, held at Cafe Milano in Georgetown January 19, 2009 Washington, DC. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Graham’s request covers communications between the parties spanning from the day Hunter Biden followed former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Twitter to the day of Shokin’s ouster.

He did not specify a deadline for the materials’ delivery.

In the ongoing impeachment inquiry, witnesses have bolstered allegations that Trump leveraged military aid and a coveted White House meeting to improperly pressure the current Ukrainian president into investigating the Bidens.

Joe Biden is among the many Democrats seeking to take on Trump in the 2020 presidential election and several national polls consistently have shown Biden leading the president.

Read Full Story