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Schumer shoots down GOP proposal to swap Bolton-for-Biden testimony trade

Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerMcConnell: COVID-19 relief will be added to omnibus spending package Overnight Health Care: Moderna to apply for emergency use authorization for COVID-19 vaccine candidate | Hospitals brace for COVID-19 surge | US more than doubles highest number of monthly COVID-19 cases The five biggest challenges facing President-elect Biden MORE (N.Y.) on Tuesday shot down a proposal being floated by moderate Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyAppeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy MORE (R-Pa.) to set up a witness trade that would allow both former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonPressure grows from GOP for Trump to recognize Biden election win Sunday shows - Virus surge dominates ahead of fraught Thanksgiving holiday Bolton calls on GOP leadership to label Trump's behavior 'inexcusable' MORE and Hunter Biden to testify at the impeachment trial.

“There’s always a diversion. Hunter Biden has nothing to do with the facts of this trial,” Schumer said.

Schumer made clear he has no interest in a one-for-one swap of witness testimony, calling proposals to bring former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump Cruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge MORE or his son to testify before the Senate.

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“Requests to call Hunter Biden are an intentional misdirection, a distraction. They’re attempts to use the Senate floor to accomplish what the president of Ukraine couldn’t do,” he said.

“The fact that the president and some Republicans are proposing Hunter Biden as one of their witnesses just goes to show they have no one to defend the president on the merits, plain and simple,” he added.

Toomey has floated his proposal of a one-for-one witness swap with fellow Republicans such as Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBipartisan, bicameral group unveils 8 billion coronavirus proposal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms Senate GOP open to confirming Yellen to be Biden's Treasury secretary MORE (Utah) but it has yet to win the backing of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Criminal justice groups offer support for Durbin amid fight for Judiciary spot MORE (R-Ky.), who would prefer not to bring witnesses to the trial.

The idea of calling Hunter Biden to the floor suffered a blow earlier this week when Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel Democracy is the MVP in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms MORE (R-S.C.) said the impeachment trial is not the appropriate venue to investigate Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine. He said he would vote against a subpoena for his testimony.

Trump’s defense team on Monday raised Hunter Biden’s highly-paid position as a board member with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company.