Jan 22, 2020

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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Schumer rules out Bolton for Hunter Biden "witness trade"

Hunter Biden (L) and John Bolton (R). Photos: Kris Connor/WireImage; Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters Wednesday that the idea of a "witness trade" that involves calling Hunter Biden in exchange for former national security adviser John Bolton is "off the table."

Why it matters: Some Democratic senators had reportedly expressed openness to the idea of calling Hunter Biden if it meant moderate Republicans would vote in favor of subpoenaing Bolton, who is believed to have key insights into the allegations at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 22, 2020

Adam Schiff: GOP "deathly afraid" of impeachment trial witnesses

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Sunday on "Meet the Press" that Republican senators are "deathly afraid of what witnesses will have to say" in President Trump's impeachment trial and have made it their goal to "deprive the public of a fair trial."

Why it matters: Democrats have made admitting additional witnesses — specifically former national security adviser John Bolton — the focus of their strategy to convince Republican senators to vote for Trump's removal.

Go deeperArrowJan 26, 2020

Trump impeachment trial recap, day 2: Democrats kick off their case

Democratic House impeachment managers walk to the Senate floor. Photo: Getty Images

The second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump on Wednesday saw a full dose of opening arguments from Democratic House impeachment managers.

What happened: Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) walked through an extensive timeline of the actions by both Trump and other administration officials toward Ukraine. Many of the key facts were pulled from the House's public impeachment hearings, which Schiff admitted may not have been watched in full by many Americans — including the senators themselves.

Go deeperArrowJan 23, 2020