This week, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), ranking member of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Committee on the Judiciary, sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken regarding information the State Department withheld during the senators’ investigation into conflicts of interest involving Hunter Biden.
Many months after the senators released their report on Hunter Biden’s questionable business dealings, the State Department provided a redacted Nov. 22, 2016 email from senior official George Kent to his colleagues. This email contained information relating to Hunter Biden, Burisma, and the Democratic lobbying firm Blue Star Strategies—all material which was relevant the senators’ investigation, but not provided to Congress in a timely manner. Further, the State Department claimed that the redacted lines in Kent’s email were classified.
In March 2021, Sen. Grassley wrote to Sec. Blinken and demanded that the State Department declassify and produce a complete copy of Kent’s email, but the Department has refused to do so. Last week, a news report released a complete copy of this email revealing the information contained underneath the redactions.
In the letter to Sec. Blinken, the senators wrote, “Recent records have come to light confirming that the State Department withheld records from our offices and improperly restrained us from making information public by inappropriately classifying information during our investigation into conflicts of interest involving Hunter Biden.”
The senators called on the State Department “to immediately provide an unredacted and unclassified version of this email and end all efforts to hide records from Congress and the American people about Hunter Biden’s connections to Burisma.”