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New York congressman and newly-named House impeachment manager Rep. Jerry Nadler (D) said during a press conference Wednesday that he and his fellow Democrats are “prepared” for Hunter Biden to be called to testify before the Senate in the impeachment trial against President Donald Trump, and admitted in a later interview that the decision is “up to the Senate” and he hopes it doesn’t happen.
What are the details?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was asked Wednesday morning about the prospect of Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden’s son being called to testify about his dealings with Ukraine, a topic at the heart of the impeachment proceedings. According to the Daily Mail, Pelosi “scooted away from the podium” to allow Nadler to answer the question.
“We are prepared,” Nadler said. “In any trial, you call witnesses who have information about the allegations, about the charges.”
He continued, “Any witness who has information about whether that is true or not true is a relevant witness. Anybody—like Hunter Biden—who has no information about any of that, is not a relevant witness.”
Nadler added, “Any trial judge in this country would rule such a witness as irrelevant and inadmissible.” The outlet asserted that “comment could mean Democrats will ask Chief Justice John Roberts to rule out the younger Biden as a witness.”
But speaking with MSNBC’s “The Beat” later that day, Nadler admitted the decision is “up to the Senate,” and said the upper chamber has the power to call Hunter Biden as a witness even if Roberts were to determine Biden’s testimony would be impertinent.
“The Senate can overrule the ruling of the Chief Justice by majority vote, and that’s what, in effect, they’re threatening to do,” Nadler told MSNBC. “Here, the Senate makes the ruling,” the congressman said, adding, “We hope it will be a fair ruling, and that’s why I say the Senate’s on trial.”
“I would certainly hope the Senate would not try to bring in irrelevant witnesses,” Nadler reiterated, referring to his earlier statement regarding Hunter Biden.
Earlier this week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) threatened to force votes “to call Hunter Biden and many more” witnesses requested by President Trump in the Senate in the name of having a fair trial, after the House passed two articles of impeachment with only Democrats voting affirmatively.