— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) January 29, 2020
West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin publicly broke with the rest of his party in an appearance on Morning Joe, revealing that he’s open to calling Hunter Biden as a witness in President Trump’s impeachment trial.
When pressed by co-host Willie Geist if the younger Biden was a relevant witness, the Mountain State politician said, “I think so. I really do. I don’t have a problem there because this is why we are where we are.” Manchin continued, “Now I think he can clear himself, what I know and what I’ve heard, but being afraid to put anybody that might have pertinent information is wrong, no matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, and not go home and say ‘Well, I protected one who was afraid—’ No. If it’s relevant, then it should be there.” (Daily Wire)
When Kasie Hunt followed by asking him if he would call Hunter Biden as a witness, Manchin reportedly answered, “If the judge or whoever rules that it is pertinent, absolutely.”
— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) January 29, 2020
Washington Post reporter Robert Costa contacted Manchin to ask if he stood by his comments; Coast reported that Manchin said he did, but when Costa asked if Manchin would consider calling former Vice President Joe Biden as a witness, Manchin replied he was against the idea, calling it a “bridge too far.”
Just spoke with Sen. Manchin. He stood by his comments on @Morning_Joe about supporting possibly calling Hunter Biden. Asked him if he’d be open to calling VP Biden. He said no, called that a “bridge too far.”
— Robert Costa (@costareports) January 29, 2020
As The Hill reported last week, Democrats have been adamantly opposed to calling Hunter Biden as a witness:
Senate Democrats are dismissing chatter about attempts at an agreement that would guarantee former national security adviser John Bolton testifies in President Trump’s impeachment trial in exchange for former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden also testifying … Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked about a potential swap, argued that “witnesses should have something to do with and direct knowledge of the charges against the president. You know, we don’t need to have witnesses that have nothing to do with this that are trying to distract Americans from the truth,” Schumer said.