Biden urges senators to have 'courage' for impeachment trial

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats seek leverage for trial Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE said in an interview broadcast Friday night that he hopes Republican senators have "courage" for a possible impeachment trial against President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE.

Biden said during the interview on "CNN Tonight with Don LemonDon Carlton LemonCNN's Lemon stunned by 'stupid, juvenile' Trump-Thanos meme: 'Are you people insane?' Biden urges senators to have 'courage' for impeachment trial Biden lashes out at Graham on Ukraine: 'I'm just embarrassed by what you're doing' MORE" that he hopes the Democratic-led House votes to impeach Trump, but the former longtime senator and vice president stopped short of saying whether the Senate should vote to remove the president from office. Instead, he emphasized that senators should remember their place in history.

"I believe [Trump] should be impeached and have the Senate try whether or not they are high crimes and misdemeanors that would cause him to be thrown out of office," the 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful told CNN.

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"I hope they have the courage," Biden continued. "I hope they remember, this is a moment — a moment when their record is going down in history as whether they played it by the rules."

Biden, who served for 36 years in the Senate before becoming vice president, has previously said he would not rule out the possibility of senators backing impeachment.

His latest remarks come as Senate Republicans have signaled a focus on targeting him and his son over unfounded allegations about Hunter Biden's time on the board of a Ukrainian energy company while his father served in the Obama administration.

The former vice president lashed out at Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in the CNN interview, blasting the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman after he asked the State Department to hand over any documents pertaining to the Bidens and Ukraine.

"I am disappointed and, quite frankly, I'm angered by the fact," he told Lemon. "He knows me. He knows my son. He knows there's nothing to this."

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Trump and other members of his administration have faced scrutiny as part of the House impeachment inquiry over their dealings with Ukraine. Lawmakers wrapped up two weeks of public testimony from various current and former administration officials on Thursday.

The House Intelligence Committee hearings focused in large part on Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump urged the foreign leader to launch an investigation into the Bidens as well as the 2016 election.

House Democrats have not officially said when a vote may happen on impeachment, though such a vote is expected to pass in the Democratic-led chamber. That would shift proceedings to the GOP-led Senate, where Republican leaders have said they expect Trump to be acquitted.