Yahoo News had previously cited "a leading Democrat on one of the committees conducting the investigation," reporting that the Treasury Department had complied with Republican demands for financial records on Biden. The Democrat said that the evidence turned over to the Senate committees was "of questionable origin."
"We have shared our ongoing investigation efforts with our Democrat ranking members as a courtesy and with the understanding that sensitive information would be treated appropriately and remain confidential," Johnson and Grassley said in a statement. "It is disappointing that one or more of our colleagues would actively seek to undermine our legitimate oversight by selectively leaking information to the press."
Disappointed that Democrat colleagues would seek to undermine legitimate oversight being done by @ChuckGrassley and me by selectively leaking information to the press. We won't be deterred. https://t.co/qVS1vxtRvl— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) February 7, 2020
The senators called the leaks “highly inappropriate,” noting that information of any responses from the Treasury Department to the senators' queries is "highly sensitive." The Democrats, meanwhile, criticized the Trump administration for voluntarily cooperating with the Senate Republicans while ignoring the requests from House and Senate Democrats during Trump’s impeachment trial.
Grassley and Johnson said there was no double standard, as there was no implication of executive privilege in the documents on "suspicious financial transactions" that the Senate sought on Hunter Biden, referring to the president’s defence against turning over information about his deliberations with advisors, particularly on foreign policy.
"In fact, Democrats have recently received productions from Treasury pursuant to their oversight requests," the Republicans said. "If the administration were to claim privilege over requested material, as the Obama administration did in the 'Operation Fast and Furious' investigation, members of Congress can use other tools at their disposal – including the courts – to compel cooperation."
Both Johnson and Grassley dismissed the way House Democrats had handled the impeachment trial, noting that they chose not to go to the courts, adding that “our oversight work over the last several years should stand in stark contrast to the slapdash impeachment inquiry in the House.”