Former Vice President Joe Biden and son Hunter Biden received unwelcome news on Friday.
Jay Sekulow, a member of President Donald Trump’s legal team for the Senate impeachment trial, says that he and his colleagues “will address” calling Joe and Hunter Biden as witnesses.
“Why [Democrats] opened up the door as wide as a double door on the Hunter Biden, Joe Biden, Burisma issue, I guess they figured that was their way of getting ahead of it,” Sekulow told reporters. “We will address it.”
Bidens enter stage left
One of the common arguments that some Republicans have raised in Trump’s defense is that he had every right to ask that Ukraine investigate the Bidens — not to try to dig up political dirt on Joe Biden ahead of a potential 2020 matchup, but to investigate possible corruption.
By now we are all familiar with the fact that Hunter, while his father was vice president, took a position on the board of an allegedly corrupt Ukranian energy firm called Burisma and was paid large sums of money despite not having any prior experience in the field. We also know that Joe, in his capacity as vice president, withheld government funds designated for Ukraine until the prosecutor working on the Burisma corruption case was fired — which he eventually was.
With these facts in mind, Republicans have argued that Trump was justified in asking Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, and, therefore, there is no case for impeachment. It was unclear whether Trump’s legal team was going to address all of this during the Senate trial, but now the Democrats have ensured that they will.
That was unexpected
During their opening statement, the Democratic leaders decided to meet the above argument head-on by suggesting that it is nonsense because the Bidens were not up to anything suspicious. This now means that the Bidens are set to be a key piece of the Senate trial, something that Joe, a 2020 presidential frontrunner, was hoping to avoid — and it is obvious why.
“I want you to think about this for a moment,” said Sekulow. “Joe Biden was charged as vice president of the United States with Ukraine policy. That was his specific charge. His son went to work for, went on the board of, the Ukrainian gas company [Burisma]. First, the vice president said he knew nothing about it, but the State Department knew about it because they were concerned when people were being put up for confirmation that that issue might arise.”
“So believe me, you’ll hear about that issue too,” Sekulow concluded.
The question now is whether all of this means that both Bidens — Joe and Hunter — may be called as witnesses during the Senate trial.
At this point, it has yet to be decided whether any further witnesses will be called. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has stated that a vote will take place at some point to decide the issue, but, for now, both sides are continuing to present their cases.
Seeing the Bidens defend themselves before the Senate would certainly be a spectacle, one that could have a massive impact on Biden’s chances in the 2020 race for president.