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Manchin says Hunter Biden is a 'relevant witness' in impeachment trial

Democratic Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMurkowski never told White House she would oppose Tanden On The Money: Tanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief | Relief bill tests narrow Democratic majority | Senate confirms Biden's picks for Commerce, top WH economist Tanden withdraws nomination as Biden budget chief MORE (W.Va.) said Wednesday morning he believes Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenIntercept bureau chief: minimum wage was not 'high priority' for Biden in COVID-19 relief South Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Obama alum Seth Harris to serve as Biden labor adviser: report MORE, is a “relevant witness” in the Senate’s impeachment trial.

“I think so, I really do. I don’t have a problem there because this is why we are where we are,” Manchin said when asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” if Hunter Biden is a relevant witness. 

“Now I think he can clear himself, what I know and what I’ve heard, but being afraid to put anyone that might have pertinent information is wrong, no matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican.” 

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The Bidens have been a focus for the GOP throughout the impeachment fight, with some Republicans claiming the former vice president abused his power when he pushed for the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was accused of corruption and had investigated Burisma Holdings, an energy company that counted Hunter Biden among its board members.

Officials who testified in the House’s impeachment investigation said Joe Biden was acting on behalf of official U.S. foreign policy in pushing for the dismissal and that the prosecutor’s investigation of Burisma was reportedly long dormant before he was pushed out from his position in Kyiv. No evidence has emerged to suggest either Biden committed any wrongdoing in Ukraine.

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The House in December voted to approve two articles of impeachment against President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE over his pressure campaign to get Kyiv to investigate his political rivals, including the Bidens. The president has often cited Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine as evidence of supposed wrongdoing. 

While some of Trump’s GOP allies in the Senate have called for both Bidens to testify should witnesses be approved later this week, Democrats have largely said subpoenaing the two would steer the trial away from its intended focus.

Manchin remains a swing vote on whether he will support convicting Trump, thus far declining to reveal how he intends to vote.