WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Donald Trump on Thursday said that former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter should testify in the impeachment probe.
- However, calling for the Bidens to testify is in contrast to the White House’s refusal to let officials of the administration comply with subpoenas in the ongoing impeachment inquiry.
- Until now, there is no evidence of any corrupt dealings by the Bidens in Ukraine, although Hunter has been slammed for taking advantage of his father’s connection by accepting a position on the board of the Ukrainian company, Burisma.
In the midst of the impeachment inquiry in the House, President Donald Trump on Thursday said former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter should testify in the investigation.
The president tweeted a quote by Republican Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana, asking how Hunter became qualified to sit on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, Burisma, while his father was carrying out U.S. policy against corruption in Ukraine.
Trump tweeted: “A very good question. He and Sleepy Joe must testify!”
The impeachment inquiry was launched after allegations of a quid pro quo — that the White House pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, Trump’s political rival.
In contrast, the White House refused to allow officials of the Trump administration to comply with subpoenas in the ongoing impeachment probe.
This week, four administration officials, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, resisted congressional subpoenas for closed-door hearings.
Failure to appear despite subpoenas would be considered “further evidence” of obstruction, according to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. Next week, public hearings in the impeachment probe will begin.
If the Democrat-controlled House impeaches the president, he will have a trial in the Republican-controlled Senate. Trump’s lawyers can summon their own witnesses, including the Bidens if the Republican caucus approves.
Ukraine’s prosecutor general said in an interview in May that he had no evidence of wrongdoing by the Bidens in Ukraine, although Hunter has been criticized for taking advantage of his father’s connection by accepting a position on the board of the Ukrainian gas company.
Hunter said in October that there was nothing “improper” in his business dealings in Ukraine, but in an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” he admitted he may have shown “poor judgment.”
“Was it poor judgment to be in the middle of something that is … a swamp in — in — in many ways? Yeah,” Hunter told GMA.
Joe Biden, on the other hand, defended Hunter by saying: “My son did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong” during the Democratic debate in Ohio last October. “The fact of the matter is this is about Trump’s corruption. That is what we should be focusing on.”