Idaho Sen. Risch urged on national television to open Burisma-Biden investigation
Cynthia Sewell, Idaho Statesman
BOISE — U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham called out to Idaho U.S. Sen. Jim Risch on national television to investigate the Burisma-Biden connection.
Burisma Holdings is a Ukrainian energy company where Hunter Biden served as a director from 2014 until last year. Biden is the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, who is one of President Donald Trump’s main political rivals in the 2020 presidential election. Graham and Risch, both Republicans, are staunch supporters of Trump.
On Sunday on Fox News, Graham was asked if he is going to have the Senate Judiciary Committee “call to testify Hunter Biden, the whistleblower, Adam Schiff, all of those names you have been talking about?” referring to the U.S. Senate impeachment trial of Trump. Graham serves as chairman of the judiciary committee.
“It is going to happen in the coming weeks,” Graham responded. “Jim Risch is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Jim, if you are watching this show, and I hope you are, we need to call the chief of staff to John Kerry.”
Graham says Kerry’s chief of staff and others knew about the conflict of interest with Hunter Biden serving on Burisma’s board while his father was vice president.
“Let’s start there. Let’s call these people in. Eventually we will get to Hunter Biden,” Graham told Fox News.
Graham said on the program that he wants to know why the Obama administration “did nothing about this obvious conflict of interest.“
“Joe Biden should have given up the Ukrainian portfolio or Hunter Biden should have been taken off the board, because they ruined America’s ability to effectively deal with corruption in the Ukraine having Hunter Biden on the board of Burisma,” Graham said on the program. “That is just a fact, and we are going to get the bottom of it.”
Graham then once again made a direct appeal to Risch on national television.
“We’re not going to let it go,” he said. “Jim Risch, you need to start it.”
Risch’s office told the Statesman on Monday that Risch did not see the Fox News piece and has not talked to Sen. Graham about it.
In July 2019, Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to “look into” the Bidens and Burisma. Just prior to that phone call, Trump had ordered freezing $391 million in military aid to Ukraine. These actions lead to the U.S. House of Representatives impeaching Trump for abuse of power on Dec. 18.
The U.S Senate’s impeachment trial got under way Jan. 20 and is expected to conclude Wednesday.
Last week, during the 16-hour question-and-answer section of the impeachment trial, Risch and Idaho U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, also a Republican, jointly asked two questions pertaining to Burisma:
“Does the evidence in the record show that an investigation in the Burisma Biden matter is in the national interest of the United States and its efforts to stop corruption?”
“The president’s counsel has underscored the administration’s ongoing anti-corruption focus with our allies. At what point did the United States government develop concerns about Burisma in relation to corruption and concerns with Russia?”
Throughout the impeachment trial, Trump’s counsel repeatedly turned the focus to Burisma-Biden.
The Senate is poised to acquit Trump on Wednesday.