House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff poured cold water Wednesday on a proposal to horse-trade with Republicans for impeachment trial witnesses, saying the somber Senate proceeding isn’t “like fantasy football.”
Speaking to reporters before the second substantial day of President Trump’s impeachment trial, Schiff (D-Calif.) dismissed revelations that a small group of Senate Democrats are considering the idea of allowing Republicans to call Hunter or Joe Biden as witnesses in exchange for a commitment to subpoena ex-national security adviser John Bolton for testimony.
“This isn’t like some fantasy football trade,” Schiff said. “Trials aren’t trades for witnesses.”
Schiff, who’s the lead House impeachment manager, said such a trade would play right into Trump’s hands.
“They want to use this trial to smear the Bidens,” Schiff said. “That’s not the purpose of the trial and the senators should not allow it to be abused in that way.”
Schiff’s pushback came on the heels of a Washington Post report that a handful of Democratic senators and aides are privately discussing the idea of a Bolton-Biden trade with Republicans.
Trump was impeached by the House over his attempt to pressure Ukraine’s president for an investigation into Joe and Hunter Biden over unsubstantiated allegations that they committed corruption crimes in the European country.
No evidence have emerged to back up Trump’s claims, and many Democrats say allowing Republicans to haul in either of the Bidens for testimony would give undue credence to the president’s debunked assertions.
Bolton, meanwhile, has been described in impeachment testimony as one of the most important witnesses of Trump’s bid to strong-arm President Volodymyr Zelensky into announcing an investigation of Biden, the Democratic Party’s 2020 front-runner.
A Democratic Senate leadership source told the Daily News on Wednesday afternoon that any discussions on calling the Bidens for testimony “are not serious.”
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