Democrats shoot down talk of John Bolton, Hunter Biden witness swap
Senate Democrats are dismissing chatter about attempts at an agreement that would guarantee former national security adviser John Bolton testifies in President Trump’s impeachment trial in exchange for former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden also testifying.
The idea has been floated by conservatives, who argue there should be “witness reciprocity.” But Democrats shot down such talk, saying Trump allies are demanding an irrelevant witness in exchange for one with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s actions.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), asked about a potential swap, argued that “witnesses should have something to do with and direct knowledge of the charges against the president.”
“You know, we don’t need to have witnesses that have nothing to do with this that are trying to distract Americans from the truth,” Schumer said.
Pressed again if he would cut a deal on witnesses, Schumer added, “right now we haven’t heard them wanting any witnesses at all.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the lead impeachment manager, called the former vice president’s son “irrelevant and immaterial.”
“This isn’t like some fantasy football trade. … This isn’t we’ll offer you this, if you give us that,” he told reporters.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), asked about a potential deal during an interview with MSNBC, indicated he would not support a Biden-for-Bolton swap, calling Hunter Biden a “total sideshow.”
“Focusing on Hunter Biden just furthers the entire scheme … Trump put forward,” Van Hollen said.
The Washington Post, citing unnamed sources, said there was a discussion among some Democrats about supporting such a deal but senators quickly distanced themselves from the story.
Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) said such a deal “would mean trading a relevant witness who should be testifying for a witness who has nothing to do with the charges against the president.”
(Excerpt) Read more at thehill.com