‘If a Republican was in the same boat they would be eaten alive by the media…’
While on the campaign trail with Biden, the current Democratic front-runner, Fox News’s Peter Doocy asked the candidate if he would cooperate with a request to appear before the Republican-led Senate.
.@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, whose unethical conduct in Ukraine during the Obama administration was the reason for President Donald Trump’s request that new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy reopen a corruption probe, insisted that his role was irrelevant in the House Democrats’ current impeachment drive.
However, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham has pledged to investigate whether Biden inappropriately coerced Ukrainian officials to fire the prosecutor investigating corruption at the energy company that was paying Biden’s son Hunter at least $50,000 a month.
“I believe that Hunter Biden’s association on that board doesn’t pass the smell test,” Graham said. “If a Republican was in the same boat they would be eaten alive by the media.”
Graham said the committee might subpoena Biden if he refuses to appear voluntarily.
“I love Joe Biden as a person—he is a really decent man, he’s had a lot of tragedy in his life,” Graham said, “but I have a conscience very clear right now. And I have a duty, if the House is going to shut it down the Senate is going to pick it up.”
Graham noted that even if Biden were not in violation of the law, much of the case against Trump—with partisans on the Left accusing him of abuse of power—hinges on whether he was justified in seeking to investigate Biden for doing the same.
Moreover, Trump supporters have said he had a legitimate reason to be concerned that Ukraine might interfere in the 2020 election on Biden’s behalf.
“I’m not saying Joe did anything wrong, but I want to see the transcripts,” Graham said, “and if there’s nothing there I’ll be the first one to say there’s nothing there.”
Biden didn’t say whether he’d comply with a subpoena, but added that if Senate lawmakers are worried about corruption, they can check his tax returns.
“You’ve heard me say a lot of times, if he’s worried about corruption, I’ve released 21 years of my tax returns,” Biden added.
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.