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Washington — Republican Senator Ron Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, pulled a planned vote on a subpoena related to an investigation into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian gas firm that once employed Hunter Biden, while securing subpoenas targeting dozens of former Obama administration officials in a separate probe.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican, criticized the investigation into Burisma as a "political exercise" during a committee meeting on Wednesday, after Johnson pulled the vote. Democrats have argued that Johnson and other Republicans are trying to undermine Joe Biden's presidential candidacy by probing his son's international business dealings. The subpoena would have required testimony from Bridget Brink, the U.S. ambassador to Slovakia, to discuss Burisma and "actual or apparent conflicts of interest with U.S.-Ukraine policy."

"Obviously it's the province of campaigns and political parties, opposition research, the media to carry out political endeavors, to learn about or dust up one's opponent, but it's not the legitimate role of government for Congress, or for taxpayer expense to be used in an effort to damage political opponents," Romney said. "Therefore I am pleased that our votes today do not include additional authorizations relating to the Biden/Burisma investigation."

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However, the committee did authorize 40 subpoenas related to the investigation into the origins of Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The subpoenas require testimony from officials including former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

Romney said he believed it was important to issue the subpoenas relating to the FBI Russia investigation, in light of an inspector general report released late last year which found several procedural errors in the probe.

"I will continue that support as long as it does not fall in the realm of rank political undertaking. I do believe it's very important that that the committees of Congress, and ours in particular, not fall into an increasing pattern that we're seeing, which is using taxpayer dollars and the power of Congress to do political work," Romney said.

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Johnson was given blanket authority in a party-line vote in June to subpoena officials related to the FBI investigation. In August, he issued a subpoena to FBI Director Christopher Wray for records related to the bureau's Russia probe.

Alan He contributed to this report.

News Source: CBS News

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Tributes From Maryland Lawmakers, Leaders Pour In For Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Tributes from Maryland lawmakers and leaders are pouring in for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday at the age of 87.

The Supreme Court said Justice Ginsburg died of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She is survived by her two children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Senator Ben Cardin said, “Words are insufficient to describe the loss to our country.”

Words are insufficient to describe the loss to our country. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer, a jurist and a public servant. She set a standard of excellence that few will ever match. On this Rosh Hashanah evening, my prayers are with her family and all those who cherished #RBG

— Senator Ben Cardin (@SenatorCardin) September 18, 2020

 

“Words are insufficient to describe the loss to our country. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer, a jurist and a public servant. She set a standard of excellence that few will ever match. On this Rosh Hashanah evening, my prayers are with her family and all those who cherished #RBG,” Senator Cardin tweeted.

Senator Chris Van Hollen called the loss “painful” and “devastating” for the country.

“This is a painful and devastating loss for our country. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an American hero, pioneer, and an inspiration to all. Our nation is so much better because of her courage and tireless fight for equality. We have a duty to protect her legacy on the Supreme Court.”

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks called Justice Ginsburg a “trailblazer.”

“It is absolutely heartbreaking to learn of the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg was a trailblazer throughout her career, becoming only the second woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Her advocacy for women’s rights was instrumental in helping us make progress on gender equality over the past several decades. Justice Ginsburg helped carve a path forward for so many women leaders that we see today, and her voice and advocacy will be sorely missed. Let us all take some time to honor and thank Justice Ginsburg for her dedicated service to our nation.”

The Maryland Democratic Party said Justice Ginsburg leaves behind “an extraordinary legacy.”

“Tonight, the country’s heart collectively breaks at the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg; she leaves behind an extraordinary legacy of breaking barriers and fighting for human rights. Justice Ginsberg made us proud to be human, proud to be Democrats, and proud to be Americans. The impact and importance of her work will continue to live on for generations to come.”

For full coverage on the life of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, visit cbsnews.com.

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