House Republicans intend to call Hunter Biden as their top witness in the impeachment inquiry, according to a list of witnesses obtained by Fox News on Saturday, just days before public impeachment hearings will commence.
Biden, whose time on the board of Ukrainian gas company Burisma has become a central issue in the impeachment inquiry, denied that his business dealings in Ukraine and his father’s position as vice president represented a conflict of interest during an interview last month, but called the decision to join Burisma “poor judgement on my part.”
In October, a U.S. State Department official told impeachment investigators that he worried Ukrainian officials would use Hunter Biden’s position at the company to influence the vice president, and conveyed his opinion to Joe Biden’s office, only for a staffer to tell him that the vice president didn’t have the “bandwidth” to address the issue.
Earlier this week, Republican senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson asked the State Department for documents pertaining to Burisma, after email records showed that Biden and business partner Devon Archer scheduled meetings with senior State Department officials in 2015 and 2016.
Republicans also plan on calling on Archer to testify, as well as the anonymous whistleblower who first raised concerns over the July call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“Because President Trump should be afforded an opportunity to confront his accusers, the anonymous whistleblower should testify,” House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) wrote in a letter to Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff on Saturday.
“Given the multiple discrepancies between the whistleblower’s complaint and the closed-door testimony of the witnesses, it is imperative that the American people hear definitively how the whistleblower developed his or her information, and who else the whistleblower may have fed the information he or she gathered and how that treatment of classified information may have led to the false narrative being perpetrated by the Democrats during this process.”
On October 2, the New York Times reported that the whistleblower communicated with Schiff’s office before filing a formal complaint.
It is unclear whether Schiff will allow Republicans to call Biden and other witnesses, as current House rules on the inquiry allow Republicans to only call witnesses who are “authorized” by Schiff.
Nunes, in his letter, said that Republicans expect Schiff “to call each of the witnesses listed above to ensure that the Democrats’ ‘impeachment inquiry’ treats the President with fairness, as promised by Speaker Pelosi.”