Jan 29, 2020

Manchin says he believes Hunter Biden is relevant impeachment witness

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that he believes Hunter Biden is a relevant witness in President Trump's Senate impeachment trial, adding that it could be an opportunity for Biden to clear himself.

The state of play: Senate Democrats and Republicans are jockeying over whether to call witnesses — and, if so, who would take the stand. Republicans want Biden to testify because of unproven allegations of corruption over his work with Ukrainian gas company Burisma.

  • Some senators have floated a witness swap — shot down by Democratic leadership — that would see Biden take the stand in exchange for testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton.

The exchange:

"Morning Joe": Is Hunter Biden a relevant witness, senator?
Manchin: "You know, I think so. I really do. I don't have a problem there, because this is why we are where we are. Now, I think that he could clear himself. Of what I know and what I've heard, but being afraid to put anybody that might have pertinent information is wrong — no matter if you're a Democrat or Republican, and not go home and say well, I protected one. No. If it's relevant, then it should be there."

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Biden says he could still work with Republicans despite impeachment attacks

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden told NBC's "Today" that President Trump's impeachment trial hasn't "shaken" his faith that he will be able to work with "at least some" Republicans if he's elected president, adding, "I think you're going to see the world change with Trump gone."

Why it matters: Trump's legal team and a number of Republicans have sought to use the trial to scrutinize Hunter Biden's position on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma, arguing that the president had a legitimate reason to pressure Ukraine into investigating the Bidens.

Treasury Department complying with GOP requests for Hunter Biden review

Photo: eresa Kroeger/Getty Images for World Food Program USA

Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Ron Johnson (Wis.) announced a review on Wednesday of "potential conflicts of interest posed by the business activities of Hunter Biden and his associates during the Obama administration."

Why it matters: The announcement came roughly one hour after the Senate voted to acquit President Trump on both articles of impeachment. Trump's request for Ukraine to investigate Hunter and Joe Biden over unsubstantiated corruption claims is ultimately what sparked his impeachment.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 6, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Ernst says Trump's focus on Bidens in Ukraine could influence Iowa caucuses

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump's Senate impeachment trial has helped bring to light information about Joe and Hunter Biden's activities in Ukraine and that this could influence how Democrats vote in the Iowa caucuses on Monday.

Why it matters: Biden seized on similar comments Ernst made to reporters last week, claiming that she "spilled the beans" by admitting that Trump's lawyers were using the impeachment trial to "smear" him. Democrats have also alleged that Trump's attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate the Bidens were intended to help his election prospects, which Republicans have largely denied.