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Politics Democrats clash with Republicans over prospect of calling Hunter Biden in impeachment trial

19:55  15 january  2020
19:55  15 january  2020 Source:   foxnews.com

McConnell tells Republicans he expects impeachment trial next week

  McConnell tells Republicans he expects impeachment trial next week He said he expects impeachment articles delivered as early as Friday.While senators and aides cautioned that McConnell does not have inside intelligence, the remarks serve as key scheduling advice for senators. Most Republicans are now gearing up for the relentless pace of the impeachment trial to start on Monday or Tuesday.

Within moments of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announcing the impeachment managers to prosecute the case against President Trump, Democrats were already clashing with Republicans over the prospect of calling GOP-sought witnesses — like Hunter Biden — to testify as part of the Senate trial.

Hunter Biden wearing a suit and tie© Provided by FOX News

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., who will serve as one of the House managers, slammed the idea of calling former Vice President Joe Biden’s son to testify, claiming he is not a “relevant” witness.

PELOSI ANNOUNCES HOUSE IMPEACHMENT MANAGERS TO PROSECUTE CASE AGAINST TRUMP

Trump re-ups calls for Biden, Schiff testimony at impeachment trial

  Trump re-ups calls for Biden, Schiff testimony at impeachment trial The president’s remarks come after Trump huddled privately Wednesday with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the White House.“I’m going to leave it to the Senate, but I’d like to hear the whistleblower, I’d like to hear ‘shifty’ Schiff, I’d like to hear Hunter Biden and Joe Biden,” Trump told reporters at a White House event.

“The relevant question is relevance. In any trial you call witnesses who have information about the allegations, about the charges,” Nadler told reporters Wednesday. “The allegations, for which there is a mountain of evidence, is that the president betrayed his country by trying to extort Ukraine by withholding $391 million in military aid that Congress had voted in order to get Ukraine to announce an investigation of a domestic political opponent — that is the allegation.

“Any witness who has information about whether that is true or not true, is a relevant witness,” he continued. “Anybody, like Hunter Biden, who has no information about any of that, is not a relevant witness.”

He added: “Any trial judge in this country would rule such a witness as irrelevant and inadmissible.”

Trump: ‘I Would’ Do What Hunter Biden Did for ‘Millions of Dollars’

  Trump: ‘I Would’ Do What Hunter Biden Did for ‘Millions of Dollars’ With a Senate impeachment trial looming, President Donald Trump joked to supporters on Thursday that he would have no problem doing exactly what he’s accused former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter of doing for “millions of dollars.” © REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst U.S. President Donald Trump rallies with supporters in Toledo, Ohio, U.S. January 9, 2020. Midway through his campaign rally in Toledo, Ohio, on Tuesday night, the president began running down his potential Democratic opponents in this year’s election.

The pushback comes as both sides have grappled with the question of whether new witness testimony will be sought in the Senate. Pelosi delayed transmitting the articles in a bid to extract a commitment on witnesses, but Democrats are mainly interested in hearing from top Trump lieutenants with knowledge of the push to pressure Ukraine to launch investigations of Democrats while aid was withheld.

While Republicans have not committed to doing so, they have countered that a new round of testimony could give them the opportunity to call their own witnesses — like Hunter Biden.

House Intelligence Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., Oversight Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Michael McCaul, R-Texas, all included the younger Biden on their proposed witness list at the formal start of the public impeachment hearings phase in the House inquiry. Their witnesses were not approved.

Rand Paul to force Senate vote on Hunter Biden testimony if GOP colleagues back Democratic witnesses

  Rand Paul to force Senate vote on Hunter Biden testimony if GOP colleagues back Democratic witnesses Sen. Rand Paul said he will force the Senate to vote on whether they want to hear impeachment testimony from Hunter Biden if his colleagues support hearing from witnesses proposed by Democrats. © Provided by Washington ExaminerBiden, 49, was at the center of President Trump’s request for Ukrainian leaders to investigate his father, Joe Biden, for possible corruption. While the elder Biden was leading diplomatic efforts in Ukraine as Obama’s vice president, the younger Biden received a high-paying position on the board of Burisma, an allegedly corrupt natural gas firm in Ukraine.

Hunter Biden emerged as a central figure in the Ukraine controversy due to his business dealings.

The inquiry began when a whistleblower reported that Trump had pushed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into the Biden family’s dealings in Ukraine — specifically, why Joe Biden pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire a top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, who was investigating Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where Hunter held a lucrative role on the board, bringing in a reported $50,000 per month.

House Republicans noted that in testimony from former State Department official George Kent, he raised concerns about "the appearance of a conflict of interest stemming from Mr. Biden's position on Burisma's board."

At the time, the former vice president was running U.S.-Ukraine policy under former President Barack Obama.

REPUBLICANS WANT HUNTER BIDEN, UKRAINE WHISTLEBLOWER AS IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY WITNESSES

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., meanwhile, has vowed to take up the issue of witnesses after the trial has started. In remarks to reporters on Tuesday, McConnell suggested that both parties could call preferred witnesses if they go down that road.

Graham calls for swift end to impeachment trial, warns Dems against calling witnesses

  Graham calls for swift end to impeachment trial, warns Dems against calling witnesses Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced that his initial plan of a pre-trial dismissal of the impeachment case against President Trump is now unlikely to happen, but he is pushing for trial to now begin and end as quickly as possible. The Senate trial is set to begin Tuesday. Graham had previously floated the idea that the GOP majority could immediately vote to dismiss the case before hearing any arguments, but now he states that this does not appear to be a possibility given the lack of sufficient Republican support for such action.

“We will be able to go through some preliminary steps this week … which would give us the ability to start the actual trial next Tuesday,” McConnell said. He went on to say that he would address the issue of potential witnesses at “the appropriate time,” and that “both sides will call witnesses they want to hear from.”

Slideshow by photo services

Democrat Schumer: impeachment witness trade involving Hunter Biden "off the table"

  Democrat Schumer: impeachment witness trade involving Hunter Biden USA-TRUMP/IMPEACHMENT-WITNESSES (URGENT):Democrat Schumer: impeachment witness trade involving Hunter Biden "off the table"WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday ruled out a so-called witness trade in which Republicans call witnesses Democrats want in exchange for former Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden testifying in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Asked directly about calling the younger Biden to testify, he said: “I can’t imagine only the witnesses our Democratic colleagues want to call would be called.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has floated the idea of “witness reciprocity,” which would mean that if Democrats called a witness, like ex-White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, Republicans could then call on their own witness.

Meanwhile, Pelosi announced the House managers who will prosecute the case against the president. The managers include House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who will be the lead manager and who directed much of the impeachment inquiry out of his committee, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., whose panel drafted the articles of impeachment.

Pelosi also tapped House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.; Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo.; Val Demings, D-Fla.; Sylvia Garcia, D-Texas; and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.

Many of the managers were chosen because of their backgrounds: Lofgren has been involved in three presidential impeachment proceedings: as a Judiciary Committee staffer during former President Richard Nixon's and a committee member during former President Bill Clinton's impeachment, and now as a manager.

During Clinton’s impeachment in 1999, there were 13 House impeachment managers. Pelosi chose seven for Trump's trial.

Announcing the managers, Pelosi argued the charges against the president will be a stain on his legacy, dramatically referring to an "impeachment that will last forever." She said the House on Wednesday will pass a resolution to appropriate funds for the trial, and transmit the articles — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — to the Senate.

"This is a very serious matter and we take it to heart in a really solemn way," Pelosi said. "It's about the Constitution, it's about the republic if we can keep it and [senators] shouldn’t be frivolous with the Constitution of the United States even though the president of the United States has."

She added: "The president is not above the law. He will be held accountable. He already has been held accountable. He has been impeached and you can never erase that."

Joe Biden, in Iowa, says he would not 'make the deal' to testify in impeachment trial in exchange for Republican testimony .
Former Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he would not offer to testify in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in exchange for securing Republican witnesses. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The Washington Post reported Tuesday that some Democrats in the U.S. Senate were weighing whether to agree to have Biden or Biden's son, Hunter Biden, testify in Trump's impeachment trial if Republicans would agree to allow witnesses that the Democrats want to hear from.

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