Former vice president Joe Biden categorically denied Wednesday that he would even consider testifying in President Trump’s impeachment trial, calling it a “constitutional issue” and saying that “we’re not going to turn it into a farce or to some kind of political theater.”
Asked during a campaign event in Iowa if he would testify, Biden said Republicans’ efforts to compel his testimony were part of a cynical political effort to distract from the president’s misconduct.
“They’re trying to do that. I want no part of that,” Biden said, adding that he was “not going to play” Trump’s “game.”
“The Senate’s job is now to try him. My job is to beat him,” Biden stated.
But the voter who posed the question was not satisfied with Biden’s answer, insisting Biden should “clear the air” after Republican allegations that he and his son Hunter were involved in a Ukrainian conflict of interest while Biden was serving as vice president.
“He should call the bluff. Trump is a bully and [Biden] needs to stand up to him,” Stephen Delgado, a 70-year-old retiree from Arizona, told The Washington Post. “Democrats have to stop all this ‘When they go low, we go high.’ This is a street fight.”
Biden also shot down reports that Democrats were even considering a swap deal, which was first proposed by Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) last week. “No they’re not,” Biden said three times to reporters.
A Post report Tuesday night cited anonymous sources who said several Senate Democrats were considering Cruz’s offer: the testimony of a key White House witness, like former NSA adviser John Bolton, in exchange for Joe or Hunter Biden’s testimony. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., NY.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) both ruled out such a deal on Wednesday.
“I think it’s off the table,” Schumer said during a break in the second day of opening arguments. “First of all, the Republicans have the right to bring in any witness they want. They haven’t wanted to, and that trade is not on the table.”