Former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading Democratic presidential contender, said he doesnt want to be part of any deals made between Democrat and Republican lawmakers that would see each side get one or more witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial.
“The reason why I would not make the deal, and the bottom line is, this is a constitutional issue and were not going to turn it into a farce, into some kind of political theater,” Biden said while campaigning on Jan. 23 in Osage, Iowa, according to the Des Moines Register.
“Theyre trying to turn it into political theater but I want no part of being any part of that,” he added.
Democrats have publicly rejected hypothetical deals that would see Joe Biden, Hunter Biden, or another witness Republicans want to hear from in exchange for hearing from acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney or former national security adviser John Bolton. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are among the GOP members who have said theyd deal in witnesses, one way or another.
Bidens son Hunter Biden sat on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings from 2014 to 2019. President Donald Trump during a July 2019 phone call with Ukraines president Volodymyr Zelensky, inquired about Burisma and corruption investigations that were shut down in 2016.
Trump noted that Joe Biden said in 2018 that while still in office in 2016, he threatened to withhold $1 billion in aid from Ukraine unless a prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, was ousted. Shokin at the time was investigating Burisma.
“Theres a lot of talk about Bidens son, that Biden stopped the prosecution,” Trump told Zelensky. “And a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great.”