Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Sen. Rand Paul discussed reports that former Vice President Joe Biden faces questions of conflict of interest related to his son's business interests in Ukraine. This week, the president's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani floated and eventually scrapped a plan to travel to Ukraine to ask for an investigation.
The New York Times reported last week that while Vice President Biden threatened to withhold U.S. loan guarantees to Ukraine if it's leaders did not dismiss the country’s top prosecutor, his son Hunter was a member of the board of a Ukrainian energy company owned by an oligarch under investigation by the same state prosecutor.
Earlier on the same program, House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff dismissed the Trump team's allegation that Biden did anything wrong, saying Trump's "plan to "get the help of another foreign government in a presidential election" was "shocking."
Sen. Paul told ABC that "most Americans will be dismayed that the vice president’s son was doing this while Joe Biden was actually lobbying to have this company, you know, go free of prosecution."
"I think since the very beginning this all has been politically motivated, now both sides are doing it. I think it goes back even to the Clintons," Paul also said. "This is why we shouldn’t have special prosecutors."
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s get a Republican response now from Senator Rand Paul, the former Relations Committee, Senator Paul thanks for joining us. Just want to let me pick up where Chairman Schiff... just left off right there that perhaps Congress should consider making it illegal to engage foreign governments, foreign assistance in campaigns. You agree?
PAUL: Well I think the American people will be shocked and dismayed to know that Joe Biden’s son was making $50,000 a month just a couple of months after he was dishonorably discharged from the military for drugs.
$50,000 a month, I think most Americans will be dismayed that the president’s son was doing this while Joe Biden was actually lobbying to have this company, you know, go free of prosecution.
My understanding, this was reported in the New York Times, Joe Biden was asking the prosecutor to lay off of the company that Hunter Biden was working for, for $50,000 a month –
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s – that’s not – that’s – that’s not –
PAUL: -- kicked out of the military, that’s extraordinary.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s not what – that’s not what was reported, in fact, he was on an anti-corruption drive.
PAUL: Well actually, that’s exactly what was reported, yes, that he got $50,000 a month right after he was kicked out of the military. That’s exactly true and nobody disputes that.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That’s very (inaudible) from what you just said about what the vice president was saying right there. How about this idea that the president can – could ask – it’s appropriate for him to ask the attorney general to investigate a former vice president?
PAUL: I think since the very beginning this all has been politically motivated, now both sides are doing it. I think it goes back even to the Clintons. This is why we shouldn’t have special prosecutors.
One of the things that Adam Schiff and the other partisans don’t understand is that if you’re accused of a crime by a grand jury and they don’t indict you, the prosecutor doesn’t go all over town saying we thought he did this, we thought he did this, this is all the evidence.
That’s why a grand jury is secret. See the Mueller investigation said that the president did not commit any underlying crime, and so now they’re all saying he obstructed justice about something that was not considered to be a crime.
So this is really I think degenerated into partisan politics and the best thing we could do at this point is say let’s get on with the country’s business. Are there some underlying constitutional issues, yes.
The primary underlying constitutional issue here is whether or not the FISA court, which is supposed to spy on foreigners which has a lower constitutional standard, can you use the FISA court to spy on a presidential campaign? Can you use the FISA court to seek information about Americans?
That truly is a travesty and truly is unconstitutional and that’s the root of the problem we should be addressing.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well as you know, there’s no requirement that there being an underlying crime for obstruction of justice to exist, and you’ve something like 800 former federal prosecutors who say they believe that the president would be prosecuted if indeed he weren’t president right now. So you’re not concerned about that at all?
PAUL: I think most Americans would disagree with that. I think most Americans would disagree with that. Most Americans would hate the idea that you’re called in to talk to the FBI and when you’re called in they say oh well, you know, what did you say on the phone to somebody two months ago?
And if you describe that inaccurately, then the government’s going to say oh we’re going to put you in jail even though there was no crime committed? You know, people are horrified by the idea that you could put someone in jail for obstructing justice on something where you didn’t commit the crime.
Think about it from the perspective of the president. He was falsely accused and he –
STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn’t that exactly what happened to Martha Stewart?
PAUL: Well, yes, and it was wrong. What they did to Martha Stewart was an abomination. So when you’re accused falsely of a crime and you try to defend yourself, should you then be accused of another crime for trying to defend yourself against false accusations? I think its absurd.