“No, I’m not going to let them take their eye off the ball,” Biden told reporters at a campaign event in Iowa Falls on Wednesday afternoon. “The president is the one who has committed impeachable crimes, and I’m not going to let him divert from that. I’m not going to let anyone divert from that.”
“In my view, Joe Biden should have said that he intends to cooperate fully with the constitutional process of presidential impeachment and trial,” Allan Lichtman, an American political historian at American University who wrote the book “The Case for Impeachment” in 2017, told Salon by email.
“He should add that he hopes that Rudy Giuliani and current and former officials of the Trump administration will fully cooperate as well.”
“I see nothing odd or controversial about Biden’s comments. He simply said that he wouldn’t attend a trial voluntarily,” Priess told Salon by email. “Indeed, there is no constitutional or other reason for him to do so — either as a former VP or as a political candidate or as a distraction from the heart of the case. Congress has not issued him a subpoena or called on his to appear. Only the president has asked for it, but the president does not have summoning power for any Senate trial.”
Priess added, “As Biden said, he doesn’t want to let the president and his allies distract from the core issue in the impeachment — and there is nothing in that core for Joe Biden to shed light on.”
The former vice president made his comments shortly after Eric Ueland, the White House legislative affairs director, told reporters that the president wants a Senate trial.
“We believe very strongly, given the fatally flawed process in the House, that if they were to elect against our better advice to provide articles of impeachment — send articles to the Senate — that we need witnesses as part of our trial and full defense of the president on the facts,” Ueland told reporters near the Senate chamber roughly 20 minutes after a closed-door meeting with Senate Republicans on impeachment strategy.
Ueland added, “The underlying impeachment rules of the Senate afford the president a full suite of rights to argue his case on the facts and on the merits.”
As a result, Ueland argued that the president needed to be able to make a “whole case” through “both a full trial and the opportunity to call witnesses and work a trial over here on the Senate floor.”
When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Biden’s campaign referred Salon to the former vice president’s remarks in Iowa.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Thursday that she had ordered Democrats to draw up articles of impeachment against Trump.
“The president leaves us no choice but to act. Today, I am asking our chairman to proceed with articles of impeachment,” Pelosi said in her announcement. “If we allow a president to be above the law, we do so at the peril of our republic.”
Pelosi made her announcement after several experts on constitutional law told the House that Trump had abused his power by exerting pressure on Ukraine to open up investigations that would benefit him politically.
“[Nancy Pelosi] & the Democrats should be ashamed,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted in response to Pelosi’s announcement. “[Donald Trump] has done nothing but lead our country – resulting in a booming economy, more jobs & a stronger military, to name just a few of his major accomplishments. We look forward to a fair trial in the Senate.”
The impeachment inquiry into Trump began after it was revealed that the president had solicited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a July 25 phone call to open an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter. Despite a wealth of conspiracy theories, neither Biden has been to have committed any wrongdoing.
Because Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives and a simple majority is all that is required to impeach a president, the president could be impeached if the House members align along a straight party-line vote. Since a two-thirds majority is needed in the Senate to remove a president from office, and Republicans currently control that body, no fewer than 20 Republican senators would have to join all of that body’s Democrats in order to remove the president.
Fox News legal analyst bucks his network and lays out why Trump’s attack on impeachment is bogus
Judge Andrew Napolitano has been one of the political wild cards at Fox News: like his colleague Chris Wallace — but unlike so many others at the right-wing cable news outlet — Napolitano doesn’t see it as his job to reflexively defend everything President Donald Trump says and does. And Napolitano, in an op-ed published on Fox News’ website this week, takes issue with Trump’s assertions that his impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate is a “hoax.”
Democrats have a powerful case against Trump — but they keep making a key mistake
On the floor of the Senate, House impeachment managers have delivered a thorough, factual and compelling case for removing President Donald Trump from office. He abused his power by using his office to induce Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into launching investigations of his political enemies, and then he obstructed Congress in its efforts to uncover the details of this scheme.
The managers’ ability to present the evidence for these charges for hours on end has been impressive, and they’re earning plaudits for their furtive efforts, even though removal of the president remains supremely unlikely.
‘He gave away the game’: Doctors condemn Trump threat to slash Medicare funding
"We've long suspected he would try to gut Medicare in a second term."
An advocacy group composed of doctors and medical professionals on Wednesday joined the chorus denouncing President Donald Trump for threatening to slash Medicare and Social Security funding "at some point" should he win a second term in November.