Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the questions that he intends to ask during the next phase of President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial where senators engage in a question-and-answer period.
Hawley’s questions center around House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s contact with the Ukraine whistleblower and the work of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, in Ukraine during the Obama administration.
Hawley intends to ask the Democrat House managers the following questions:
- As Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, House Manager Adam Schiff lied about communications with the whistleblower prior to the filing of the whistleblower complaint. Schiff claimed on September 17, 2019, “We have not spoken directly with the whistleblower,” when the whistleblower had in fact reached out to a committee aide prior to filing a complaint. Why did Manager Schiff lie?
- The New York Times reported on October 2, 2019, that Representative Schiff learned the “outlines of a CIA officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power” days before the officer actually filed the complaint.
- What precisely did Manager Schiff learn in advance?
- Did Manager Schiff or any of his staff offer this individual substantive advice on his complaint?
- Did Manager Schiff or any of his staff help the intelligence officer draft the complaint in any way or to any degree?
- For House Managers: Since September 9, 2019—the date the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community notified the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that he received a whistleblower’s complaint—please disclose and explain any and all contact that any House Manager or their associates or staff have had with any current or former presidential candidate, or candidate’s campaign staff, in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses?
- For House Managers: Under the House Managers’ theory of an impeachable abuse of power, did then-President Barack Obama or then-Vice President Joe Biden commit such an abuse when the Obama administration withheld aid from the Ukrainian government in exchange for the removal of Ukraine’s Prosecutor General?
- For House Managers: When he took office, Viktor Shokin, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, vowed to investigate Burisma. Before Vice President Joe Biden sought to remove Shokin, did the White House Counsel’s Office or the Office of the Vice President legal counsel issue ethics advice approving Mr. Biden’s involvement in matters involving Shokin, despite the presence of Hunter Biden on the Burisma board?
- For House Managers: Was President Obama aware that Hunter Biden had been appointed to the board of directors of Burisma when Vice President Joe Biden withheld funds from Ukraine in exchange for the prosecutor’s removal? If so, did the President advise Mr. Biden to recuse himself?
- For House Managers: Do you agree with Hunter Biden’s statement in an October 15, 2019, ABC News interview that he would “probably not” have been named a board member if his “last name wasn’t Biden”?
- For White House Counsel: A significant portion of the House Managers’ theory of abuse of power depends on the idea that President Trump improperly withheld defense aid to Ukraine. Did the White House release the funds in question to Ukraine before they expired at the end of the fiscal year, on September 30, 2019? If so, did the Ukrainian government publicly announce any corruption investigation prior to the release?
- For White House Counsel: What, if any, criminal statutes do the House Managers allege President Trump violated?
After the Senator’s question-and-answer period is over, the Senate will consider whether to allow new witnesses and documents to be brought forth in the case, which is something that the Democrats want.
Hawley noted that if the Senate votes to allow additional witnesses to testify that the Democrats did not call in the House, that he will issue motions to subpoena Schiff, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, the whistleblower, Joe Biden, and Hunter Biden.
On Saturday, Hawley indicated in a tweet that he would issue subpoenas for those five individuals if the Senate decided to allow additional witnesses to be called in for questioning.
“I have drafted motions to subpoena Adam Schiff, the ‘whistleblower,’ Hunter Biden, and Joe Biden to testify,” Hawley wrote. “If the Senate calls witnesses, I will ask for votes on all these next week.”