U.S. senator drops Burisma bombshell that ties it all together

U.S. senator drops Burisma bombshell that ties it all together

U.S. senator drops Burisma bombshell that ties it all together

A quiet-mannered U.S. senator may have delivered the "aha moment" that could tie the Biden family to years of bribery and corruption, which Republicans have been alleging for a long time, but there are more legal and political hurdles to clear before justice is done.

Speaking time on the Senate floor is precious so people were watching when Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) used his time to drop a bombshell accusation. He said the FBI omitted key information from an informant, when the embattled agency finally surrendered a highly redacted form FD-1023 which Republicans on Capitol Hill have been demanding. In the redacted version, according to Grassley, the informant describes a bribery scheme involving then-Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, and in particular the Burisma gas company on which Biden was oddly chosen to sit on the board of directors.  

Grassley told fellow senators the owner of Burisma – who is alleged to have made separate $5 million payments to Joe Biden and Hunter Biden – recorded conversations with both men that implicate them both.

The owner of Burisma is Mykola Zlochvesky, who is the "foreign national" mentioned in the FBI form and who allegedly described the payments to the Bidens to the FBI informant. 

Seventeen damning recordings exist thanks to that "foreign national," Grassley went on to say, citing the informant. He described their purpose as an “insurance policy” for the Burisma executive should the backroom deal turn south.

Matt Whitaker, a former acting attorney general under Donald Trump, called news of the recordings a “cataclysmic event” on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning.

Trump's recording vs Vice President Biden 

It could also be more bad news for FBI Director Christopher Ray, who was slow to release form FD-1023 to the House oversight committee in the first place. When he did, a reference to the recordings was redacted.

Reacting to Grassley's speech and allegations, AFR show host Jenna Ellis said she was interested in the allegation there are audio recordings that include then-Vice President Biden himself. 

Ellis, Jenna Ellis

What I think is so interesting about this," she told the "Today's Issues" program, "is that the Democrats are trying to kind of make this hush-hush. Yet we just saw on Friday the unsealed indictment of former President Trump." 

Ellis, who formerly worked as Trump's personal attorney, pointed out that some of the evidence the Department of Justice cites is a recording of Trump while he was talking to a reporter. 

"And they point to that almost like a smoking gun in the indictment," she said. "Now, somehow we are just supposed to ignore that there are between 15 and 17 audio recordings, and the American people still have not heard these.”

Ellis told show co-host Ed Vitagliano that news of the recordings – if true – is one more reason Joe Biden should face impeachment.

“This is just one other sufficient legal basis because a correct arbiter and fact-finder, which should be the U.S. Senate under Article One of the U.S. Constitution, should look at those tapes," she insisted. "The American people should hear those tapes for ourselves. If factually true, that would represent not only criminal but impeachable conduct." 

Trump was impeached over Ukraine

If the Republican Party in Congress goes through with impeachment, it would be an incredible irony. Democrats impeached Trump over his phone call to Ukraine's current president, Volodymr Zelensky. The purpose of that phone call was Biden family corruption, which was related to Hunter Biden's seat on the Burisma board of directors. 

If there is an impeachment inquiy, there is now suspicion that Wray attempted to hide the information and cover for the Biden family. 

Wray’s defense would have to surround some kind of reason that would make it necessary to keep Congress in the dark.

“There would have to be some kind of justifiable basis that he would have redacted this and hid this from the House Oversight Committee," Ellis advised. "The committee is not law enforcement, but they do have the power of impeachment, and they also have the ability to see this type of information without redactions through security clearances and all that that are given to Congress."

The Republican majority in the House, she added, hasn’t used its authority enough.

'Bad actors' may vote against Biden impeachment

“Frankly, I’m disappointed in the Republican majority for not having votes on more impeachments,” Ellis said, noting there had been some talk of impeachment for Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas.

It appears Grassley has given the Republicans a smoking gun. They still have to wind their way to it, but the ball is in their court for a response.

Even if audio recordings of the sitting president talking in a bribery scandal don’t make it into the public arena, going through the impeachment process is necessary because it provides for “transparency and just simply following the rule of law in the U.S. Constitution,” Ellis said.

Even if "bad actors" are not held accountable by a Senate vote, she told the AFR program, the American public will witness a public trial and the transparency the American people deserve. 

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running second to Trump in polling for the GOP presidential nomination, has a plan that would bypass impeachment proceedings. He plans to clean house. 

“I’ve actually been very impressed with his commitment to say, ‘You know, on Day 1 I’ll just fire Christopher Wray, and I can do that,’” Ellis said. “(DeSantis) has released a very comprehensive plan to provide oversight as the chief executive and say, ‘We are going to deal with weaponization of government by literally gutting all of these agencies from the top executive.’”

Ellis said firing bosses is the only way to bring about real change.

“That’s really the only thing that I’m convinced will ever truly drain that aspect of the swamp … is if we get a chief executive that is willing to go through the FBI, go through the DOJ and actually get rid of these bad actors.”