Former Vice President Joe Biden, the current leader of a crowded field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, doubled down Friday on a previous statement he would refuse to testify at any impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, even if he is subpoenaed.
In an interview with the Des Moines Register, Biden said his testimony would bring the attention off of the president and onto him and, likely, his son Hunter Biden.
Both men have been accused of nefarious and possibly illegal actions regarding Ukraine by President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
Some Republican senators have suggested that the elder Biden could be called to testify in an impeachment trial to explain his role in Ukraine as Vice President on behalf of President Obama, as well as Hunter Biden’s role as a board member for Burisma Holdings, an energy company that was under investigation by a Ukrainian prosecutor.
The investigator was fired by former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Joe Biden’s demand, according to an admission Biden made at a 2018 event sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations.
The House voted along party lines earlier this month to return two articles of impeachment against President Trump, one for abuse of power in dealing with Ukraine, and the other for obstruction of Congress.
Biden told the Des Moines paper even if he testified to clear any confusion about his work with Ukrainian officials during his time as Vice President, the media attention would inevitably let the president escape scrutiny.
“What are you going to cover?” Biden said. “You guys are going to cover for three weeks anything that I said. And (Trump‘s) going to get away. You guys buy into it all the time.
“Not a joke … Think what it’s about. It’s all about what he does all the time, his entire career. Take the focus off,” Biden continued.
“This guy violated the Constitution. He said it in the driveway of the White House. He acknowledged he asked for help.”
On Friday, reports noted that the Justice Department cleared President Trump of any wrongdoing regarding a phone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July, despite House Democrats’ claims of a “quid pro quo” and “bribery.”
Specifically, the DoJ found that nothing about the conversation violated campaign finance laws, and that Trump did not seek assistance from Zelensky to investigate the Ukraine-related activities of both Bidens.
Also, the department released a transcript of the president’s conversation with Zelensky, which did show that he mentioned the Bidens. However, the transcript does not show that the president threatened to withhold military aid from Ukraine, as the whistleblower claimed and as Democrats continue to claim.