- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, surmised that Senate Republicans pleased Russian President Vladimir Putin by issuing a report Wednesday about Hunter Biden.

Mr. Schiff, California Democrat, reacted to the release of the report by Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa by accusing the Republicans of boosting a Russian disinformation campaign.

President Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives in 2019 for asking his Ukrainian counterpart to open a probe into Mr. Biden, the son of his Democratic rival, Mr. Schiff recalled in a statement.

The U.S. intelligence community warned last month Russia is using a range of measures to denigrate Mr. Trump’s challenger, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, including spreading claims about corruption.

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Grassley — the chairs of the Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees, respectively — are spreading the same bogus claims by issuing their report Wednesday, Mr. Schiff said.

“With the release of this report and two Senate Committee Chairs promoting the same Russian disinformation, the Kremlin must be very pleased,” Mr. Schiff said in the statement.

SEE ALSO: Senate Republicans release report on Hunter Biden’s ‘problematic’ business ties

“Everyone should see this report for what it is: an election year hit job that uses as its very basis Russian disinformation,” Mr. Schiff added.

Mr. Johnson and Mr. Grassley said their report shows potential conflicts of interest arising from the younger Biden having served on the board of a Ukrainian company while his father was vice president.

Sens. Gary Peters of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon — the ranking Democrats on the Homeland Security and Finance Committees, respectively — similarly denounced the report issued by the GOP counterparts.

Mr. Johnson, Mr. Peters said, “has diverted our Committee’s time and taxpayer resources away from our mission to protect the health and security of Americans – and instead has generated a partisan, political report that is rooted in Russian disinformation and intended to influence the presidential election.”

“Throughout this effort, I have been deeply disturbed by Senate Republicans’ willingness to disregard national security concerns and push Russian disinformation,” Mr. Wyden said. “The Senate must never again be abused in this way.”

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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