As Democrats continue to make their case for the removal of President Donald Trump from office, the question of whether or not the Senate will subpoena new witnesses remains undecided.
Some lawmakers considered the idea of “witness reciprocity,” which would allow Republicans to subpoena former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden if Democrats call on former National Security John Bolton.
However, several Democratic senators dismissed the idea because they said the Biden’s are not a “relevant witness,” as IJR previously reported.
During a campaign stop in Iowa, the elder Biden rejected the idea because “this is a Constitutional issue.”
“The reason why I would not make the deal, the bottom line is, this is a Constitutional issue. And we’re not going to turn into in a farce, into some kind of political theater. They’re trying to turn into political theater, but I want no part of being any part of that.”
Watch his comments below:
Asked if he or his son would consider testifying in Senate impeachment trial as part of any possible witness swap, Joe Biden says, "This is a constitutional issue. And we're not going to turn it into a farce, into some kind of political theater." https://t.co/UHjSh58OUn pic.twitter.com/vGXePBUQce— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) January 22, 2020
“I have no problem, as you’ll find out the rest of this campaign, debating Trump,” Joe Biden said, adding, “I don’t want it to turn into a farce. This is a sacred Constitutional question.”
Some Republican senators have said that they would like to hear from Bolton, but said they would be willing to wait until later in the proceeding to vote on whether or not to call new witnesses.
Senators will hear opening arguments followed by a time where they ask questions of the House impeachment managers and Trump’s defense team. After that, they will vote on whether or not to extend the trial and call new witnesses.
A simple majority, or 51 votes, are required to call new witnesses. Currently, Republicans hold a 53-47 seat majority in the Senate, so Democrats would need four Republicans to vote for new witnesses to reach the threshold.