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GOP REPORT FINDS NO WRONGDOING OF BIDEN SON IN UKRAINIAN FIRM

A report released by Senate Republicans found that the role of Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma was "awkward" and at times "problematic" for US officials dealing with the country, but provides no new evidence and found no instance of policy being altered as a result of his role. 

"The extent to which Hunter Biden’s role on Burisma’s board affected US policy toward Ukraine is not clear," Allison Pecorin of ABC News quoted the report as saying. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, who led the investigation as chair of the Homeland Security Committee, had hoped the election-year probe would hurt the Democratic nominee and help Trump while Democrats slammed it as purely political. 


"The Obama administration knew that Hunter Biden’s position on Burisma’s board was problematic and did interfere in the efficient execution of policy with respect to Ukraine," the GOP report found, without drawing a conclusion on the extent of the impact of Hunter Biden's role. Johnson said he had pursued the probe based in part on accusations from Trump and others that Biden ousted a Ukrainian prosecutor who had been looking into Burisma to benefit his son, despite reports and testimony from Obama administration officials who have said ousting the corrupt prosecutor was in line with US policy. The panel also relied on information from pro-Russia Ukrainian Andriy Derkach, who has been tagged by the US as a Russian agent. 


In their response to Johnson's and Grassley's report, the ranking Democrats on the committees, Sens. Ron Wyden and Gary Peters, issued a separate report stating that Republicans found "no evidence" of wrongdoing by Vice President Biden and "no evidence" of alterations to US-Ukraine policy to assist Hunter Biden. "The Chairmen have uncovered absolutely no evidence of wrongdoing by Vice President Biden," the minority response reads. "Instead, this effort has been a partisan and unnecessary distraction from important business before both Committees as the country faces a once in a century pandemic." Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates, in a statement released in advance, called it a distraction from other issues like the COVID-19 crisis. "Why? To subsidize a foreign attack against the sovereignty of our elections with taxpayer dollars -- an attack founded on a long-disproven, hardcore rightwing conspiracy theory," Bates said. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday, said the report "reads as if Putin wrote it not US senators."



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