Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden implied the Senate would have to compel him to appear before any impeachment trial of President Donald Trump — because the former vice president won’t go voluntarily.
“No I’m not going to let them take their eye off the ball,” Biden responded when asked about his potential impeachment testimony. “The President is the one who has committed impeachable crimes and I’m not going to let him divert from that.”
.@JoeBiden tells @pdoocy he will not appear voluntarily if called as a witness in Senate impeachment trial, “No I’m not going to let them take their eye off the ball. The President is the one who has committed impeachable crimes and I’m not going to let him divert from that.” pic.twitter.com/HfGsHmad29
— Pat Ward (@WardDPatrick) December 4, 2019
Biden also suggested that if Trump is “worried about corruption” he has released “21 years of tax returns.” On Thursday House Speaker Nancy Pelosi directed House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler to formally proceed with impeaching the president.
Biden remains at the center of that ongoing impeachment process and assessing whether Trump made U.S. military assistance to Ukraine contingent upon that country leading an investigation into potential misconduct by Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. (RELATED: Joe Biden Never Says He Discussed Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Deal. Hunter Says He Did)
Joe Biden threatened to withhold a billion dollars of aid to Ukraine if chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin was not fired or did not resign.
Shokin has claimed in an affidavit that the former vice president, who was President Barack Obama’s point man in Ukraine, forced him out of his job over an investigation into the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings. Hunter Biden was then sitting on the firm’s board of directors. (RELATED: 2014 Photo Shows Joe And Hunter Biden Golfing With Ukraine Gas Co. Exec.)
A prominent Ukrainian businessman has also stated that Burisma hired Hunter Biden for “protection” in the event that the company faced any prosecution for corruption.
Biden remains reticent to discuss his role in Ukraine. In October he told a journalist to focus on Trump’s alleged misconduct instead of his: “It’s not a conflict of interest. There’s been no indication of any conflict of interest, from Ukraine or anywhere else. Period. I’m not going to respond to that! Let’s focus on the problem. Focus on this man, what he’s doing, that no president has ever done. No president!”