Jan 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Schiff dismisses calling Hunter Biden in exchange for Trump impeachment witnesses

Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that senators shouldn't entertain the idea of calling Hunter Biden to testify at President Trump's impeachment trial in exchange for other administration witnesses, telling reporters: "This isn't like some fantasy football trade."

What he's saying:

"Trials aren't trades for witnesses. We offered last night to have the chief justice of the Supreme Court rule on a question of materiality for any of the witnesses. Not surprisingly, the president's team was vehemently opposed. Not because the president's team doesn't trust the chief justice to make an impartial decision, but because they do. ... They want to effectuate the scheme that they were unable to do when they tried to get Ukraine to smear the Bidens. They want to use this trial to smear the Bidens."

Why it matters: A small number of Senate Democrats have left the door open to calling Hunter Biden as part of a negotiation to coax moderate Republicans to call other witnesses, such as former national security adviser John Bolton, the Washington Post reports.

  • Like Schiff, however, those senators stressed that Hunter Biden's testimony would be immaterial to the impeachment charges, which are about Trump's conduct.

Go deeper: Trump says national security concerns preempt impeachment witnesses

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