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

Go deeper

Oil faces tough road back from coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Oil companies in the battered shale patch are starting to bring back some production as prices climb, but a new report underscores how the pandemic is taking a heavy financial toll despite signs of revival.

Driving the news: Fourteen North American producers have filed for bankruptcy thus far during the second quarter, per a tally from the law firm Haynes and Boone, which closely tracks the sector's finances.

2 hours ago - World

Hong Kong legislature bans insults to Chinese national anthem

Activists holding a candlelit remembrance outside Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2020, to mark the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Hong Kong’s legislature approved a bill Thursday that makes insulting the "March of the Volunteers," the Chinese national anthem, illegal, AP reports.

Why it matters: It did so on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, when Chinese troops opened fire on pro-democracy activists in 1989. The death toll has never been released, but estimates vary between hundreds and thousands.

1.9 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

Data: U.S. Employment and Training Administration via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Another 1.9 million people filed for unemployment last week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic is still putting a historic strain on the labor market, though the pace of unemployment applications continues to slow.