On Wednesday, asked if she was prepared for the possibility of Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president and current presidential contender Joe Biden, testifying in the impeachment trial of President Trump, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi relinquished the microphone to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, who claimed the Democrats were prepared for such an eventuality but immediately bristled that Hunter Biden was not a “relevant” witness to the inquiry.
Nadler answered that the Democrats were “prepared”:
We are prepared, but the relevant question is relevance. Is relevance. In any trial, you call witnesses who have information about the allegations, about the charges. The allegations, for which there is a mountain of evidence, are that the president betrayed his country by trying to extort the (sic) Ukraine by withholding $391 million dollars in military aid that Congress had voted in order to get Ukraine to announce an investigation of a domestic political opponent. That’s the allegation.
Then he segued to why Hunter Biden was not “relevant”:
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. Any trial judge in this country would rule such a witness as irrelevant and inadmissible. If someone is accused of robbing a bank, witnesses who say, “We saw him run into the bank, we saw him some place else” are relevant. A witness who says, “He committed forgery on some other document” is not relevant to the bank robbery charge. That’s the distinction.
On Monday night Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted, “My colleagues can’t have it both ways. Calling for some, while blocking others. If we are going to give a platform to witnesses the Dems demand, I look forward to forcing votes to call Hunter Biden and many more!’
On Tuesday night during the Democratic presidential debate, Joe Biden lamented, “’This Republican Party, they’ve gone after — savaged my surviving son — gone after me, told lies that your networks and others won’t even carry on television because they’re flat-out lies … And I did my job, the question is whether he (Trump) did his job. And he hasn’t done his job.”
On Tuesday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) suggested an idea that could trigger calling Joe Biden and Hunter Biden to be called as witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. Cruz called for “witness reciprocity,” which would enable GOP leaders in the Senate to call a witness of their own for every witness called for by Senate Democrats.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stated in his usual laconic style, “We’ll be dealing with the witness issue at the appropriate time into the trial. And I think it’s certainly appropriate to point out that both sides would want to call witnesses if they wanted to hear from them. So if you get to that issue, I can’t imagine that only the witnesses our Democratic colleagues want to call will be called.”