Updated Jan 22, 2020

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.

  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the House's lead impeachment manager, dismissed the idea earlier on Wednesday, stressing that Hunter Biden would be "immaterial" to the impeachment charges because they involve President Trump's conduct — not his own.
  • "This isn't like some fantasy football trade," Schiff said. "Trials aren't trades for witnesses."

Joe Biden, speaking to voters on the campaign trail in Iowa, also said Wednesday he would not participate in any kind of "witness trade" for his testimony.

  • "The reason I would not make the deal, the bottom line is, this is a constitutional issue," Biden said. "We're not going to turn it into a farce or political theater. I want no part of that."

Go deeper ... Live updates: Opening arguments begin in Trump impeachment trial

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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."

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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.

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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.

Go deeperArrowJan 29, 2020