Nadler: GOP senators who want to negotiate witnesses are 'part of the cover-up'

Nadler: GOP senators who want to negotiate witnesses are 'part of the cover-up'
© Greg Nash

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerThis week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Congress set for clash over surveillance reforms Trump adviser presses House investigators to make Bezos testify MORE (D-N.Y.), one of the House impeachment managers in President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE's Senate trial, said Sunday that Republicans looking to block or negotiate on witnesses are "part of the cover-up." 

Nadler's comments came in response to a question on whether Democrats would consider calling former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden looks to shore up lead in S.C. Hillicon Valley: Dems cancel surveillance vote after pushback to amendments | Facebook to ban certain coronavirus ads | Lawmakers grill online ticketing execs | Hacker accessed facial recognition company's database Vulnerable Democrats brace for Sanders atop ticket MORE's son Hunter Biden to testify in exchange for calling witnesses put forward by Democrats. 

Nadler dismissed the idea of negotiating on witnesses as part of the trial. 

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"In any trial, all relevant witnesses must be heard," Nadler said on CBS's "Face the Nation." 

"This whole controversy about whether there should be witnesses is really a question of does the Senate want to have a fair trial, or are they part of the cover-up of the president?" he added.

The Senate will vote next week on whether to call witnesses or wait to decide on witnesses later in the process. 

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"Any Republican senator who says there should be no witnesses or even that witnesses should be negotiated is part of the cover-up," Nadler said. 

He added that Hunter Biden is not a necessary witness because he "has no knowledge" of the accusations against Trump. 

"Their asking for Hunter Biden is just more of a smear of Hunter Biden that the president was trying to get the Ukraine to do," Nadler added. 

Trump's pressure campaign in Ukraine to push for the nation to announce an investigation into the Bidens is at the heart of Democrats' impeachment allegations. 

Nadler added that if Republicans want Hunter Biden to testify, Chief Justice John Roberts should make the determination. 

"But no chief justice would think of admitting evidence that is not relevant. No trial judge would in any trial," Nadler said.