Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) said Friday that former Vice President Joe Biden could be subpoenaed to testify at the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. However, he said there is "no need and no justification" to call Biden as a witness as it would be a distraction.
"I think that Joe Biden or anyone else would be subject to subpoena power, and could be compelled to come to this proceeding," Doggett told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "There's nothing that Joe Biden or any of the other witnesses Republicans have talked about have to say about what the President is being impeached for. The only purpose of bringing them is for distraction, urged by the Master of Distraction, Donald Trump."
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN: That is the weakness of the argument, which is if everything was good and everybody can defend him, and excuse him, and exonerate him, why is he keeping them from testifying?
All right, but then we bounce back to the idea of what is being asked for versus what is being offered on the Democrats. So, you brought up the issue of witnesses. It's the perfect pivot.
Former VP Joe Biden, obviously now running for the Democratic nomination in 2020 for President, he was asked about "Well what if you're called," you know, because that's one of the horse trading arguments here.
The Democrats are going to have to give if they want to get anybody. They don't have the numbers. Here's what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CAROL HUNTER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE DES MOINES REGISTER: Do you stand by your earlier statements that you wouldn't comply if you were subpoenaed to testify in an impeachment trial before the Senate?
JOE BIDEN (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Correct. And the reason I wouldn't is because it's all designed to deal with Trump doing what he's done his whole life, trying to take the focus off him.
The grounds for them to call me would be overwhelmingly specious.
Let's say I - I voluntarily just said "Let me go make my case," what are you going to cover? You guys are just going to focus - I mean you're going to cover for three weeks anything I said. And he's going to get away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CUOMO: First, your honor, the idea of what Joe Biden is arguing here is exactly what you just impeached the President for, his feelings about the subpoena process and Congressional oversight made him feel like not complying because he didn't like why you were asking.
How is that any different than what Joe Biden is saying?
REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D-TX): Well it's significantly different. First, I think that Joe Biden or anyone else would be subject to subpoena power, and could be compelled to come to this proceeding.
But there's nothing that Joe Biden or any of the other witnesses Republicans have talked about have to say about what the President is being impeached for. The only purpose of bringing them is for distraction, urged by the Master of Distraction, Donald Trump.
CUOMO: But why? If - if his - if their argument is you can't say the President had corrupt intent, which you would need for abuse or any type of, what we call in the law, scienter, some kind of malice aforethought, he didn't have it because he has a legitimate belief that Biden raises significant issues that Ukraine and the servers, I think that's a weaker argument, raises issues, so we want to put on testimony to prove that there's something there.
DOGGETT: Well I think the President's corrupt intent is shown by his conduct. This was not just one phone call, though we now do know from one of
the documents that has been discovered, that they began their action to terminate aid within an hour and a half of the phone conversation.
But this was a pattern of conduct, perhaps as your earlier shows have demonstrated, perhaps over two Presidencies in the Ukraine.
So, we have plenty evidence of this pattern of conduct and of his intent and his desire to "Do me a favor though." There's no need and no justification for calling Joe Biden or any of the other witnesses that have been discussed.
But they're all subject to subpoena, so that would be up to the Senate. Better to have more witnesses than to have no witnesses.
(via Breitbart Video)