OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
The walls are starting to close in on the officials who served in former President Obama’s administration.
The Republican led Senate is increasing its investigations into officials from the previous administration ahead of the November election, The Hill reported.
Senate Republicans are preparing to ramp up their Obama-era probes, pushing the controversial investigations back into the spotlight as the 2020 elections heat up.
The efforts have sparked high-profile tensions with Senate Democrats and public rebukes from former Vice President Joe Biden’s orbit. They view the efforts as an attempt to meddle in the 2020 elections, where Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee.
But with the Senate coming back to Washington on Monday, and the number of legislative days quickly dwindling, Republicans are preparing to step up their efforts.
“In July we will be having some public hearings. … There’s a lot to be done between now and September,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said during a social media Q&A. He said that he would “investigate the investigators.”
He mentioned former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates by name and said that he wants her to testify a meeting at the White House that occurred on Jan. 5, 2017.
At this meeting former President Obama and former FBI Director James Comey talked about sharing Russian intelligence with incoming National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn.
Yates did not comment about whether she had been contacted for comment, and when a spokesperson for Sen. Graham was asked, they said “stay tuned.”
Sen. Ron Johnson said to The Hill that he wants to release an interim report that is related to the former vice president’s son Hunter Biden.
His staff has begun drafting the report and wants to have it released before Aug. 7, when the Senate leave on a four week vacation.
“We’ve got a very detailed timeline. … I’ve told staff I certainly want to get something out before the August recess, as incomplete as it is,” he said.
“At some point in time we’ve got [to say,] ‘OK, here’s what we’ve got. Here’s the remaining questions that need to be answered,’” he said.
The two chairmen, as well as Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), are months into wide-ranging investigations that touch on some of the biggest grievances President Trump and conservative allies have, including the origins of the Russia investigation, the court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and Hunter Biden.
Staff on the Finance and on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees are scheduled to start holding closed-door transcribed interviews with State Department officials next week, two Senate aides told The Hill.
The news comes as President Donald Trump has started to mention Hunter Biden again, as he did at a press conference at the Rose Garden
“But Hunter — where’s Hunter? Where is Hunter, by the way? … Didn’t have a job and all of a sudden he’s making a fortune. But nobody talks about that,” he said.
It also comes as U.S. attorney John Durham is said to be preparing to issue a report on those who started the Russia investigation.
“Running a political errand for Donald Trump by wasting Homeland Security Committee time and resources attempting to resurrect a craven, previously-debunked smear against Vice President Biden. … Johnson should be working overtime to save American lives — but instead he’s just trying to save the President’s job,” Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Biden, said.