U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is once again distancing himself from the majority of his party, telling MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’ on Wednesday, that he believe’s Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, is a “relevant witness” for the Senate’s impeachment trial.
“I think so, I really do,” said Sen. Manchin. “I don’t have a problem there because this is why we are where we are.”
The Senator from West Virginia added that he thinks Hunter Biden can clear his name by testifying. Biden sat on the board of Burisma, Ukrainian gas company, while his father was serving as vice president.
“Being afraid to put anybody that might have pertinent information is wrong, no matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican,” said Manchin. “And not go home and say, well I protected one…no, if it’s relevant it should be there.”
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) January 29, 2020
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) quickly responded to his colleague’s remarks. “The four witnesses we have suggested are eye witness to what happened,” said Sen. Schumer. “The documents are eye witness. Hunter Biden is irrelevant and a distraction. But besides that, it’s not up to Joe Manchin. It’s not up to any of us.”
Senator Manchin appeared on Fox News later in the day and elaborated on what he said to MSNBC. He added that Republicans have a right to call witnesses.
“If the Democrats call two witnesses, shouldn’t the Republicans call two…or whatever they agree on? Now what they might not agree on is whether the person is relevant,” Manchin told Bret Baier.
In the meantime, Talking Points Memo is reporting that former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin is demanding that Ukraine opens a criminal investigation into Joe Biden. Shokin says that Biden blackmailed him and violated international law by calling for him to be fired from his former post in 2016.
And yet, they argue that when Vice President Biden did it, it was the official U.S. policy to withhold $1 billion unless a single prosecutor was fired in six hours.
"Does anybody here really believe that was or ever could be our United States policy?" pic.twitter.com/irlCSV8u7y
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 27, 2020
Democrats claim President Donald Trump abused his office by directing a pressure campaign on Ukraine to launch an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden.
Republicans, including Pres. Trump, have said that the Bidens actions in Ukraine were corrupt and that they need to be investigated.