Democratic senator on Manchin comments: 'Hunter Biden is not on trial'

Democratic senator on Manchin comments: 'Hunter Biden is not on trial'
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyEquilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Southern Company — Pledged money not going to Indigenous causes Senate Democrats call on Biden to push for COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers at WTO The Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid MORE (D-Mass.) on Wednesday dismissed his Democratic colleague Sen. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinKlobuchar confident spending bill will be finished before Christmas Democratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills Key senators to watch on Democrats' social spending bill MORE’s (W.Va.) claim that Hunter Biden is a “relevant” witness as part of President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Biden celebrates start of Hanukkah Fauci says lies, threats are 'noise' MORE’s impeachment trial. 

Markey echoed comments largely made throughout his caucus, noting that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to provide update Monday on US response to omicron variant Restless progressives eye 2024 Emhoff lights first candle in National Menorah-lighting ceremony MORE's son does not have knowledge of Trump’s decisions at the core of the allegations central to the impeachment charges. 

“I disagree,” Markey said Wednesday on CNN, in reference to the comments Manchin made earlier. “Hunter Biden is not on trial, Joe Biden is not on trial. Donald Trump is on trial.”

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“Hunter Biden doesn't have any relevant — and that's the key word — relevant information about anything that Donald Trump was doing to extort an investigation of the Biden family out of the Ukraine government in return for $391 million worth of American taxpayer national security aid.”

Manchin, in an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said that he does think Hunter Biden is a relevant witness.

Some Republicans have floated the idea of trading testimony from Biden for witnesses the Democrats are pushing for, including former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonWhen will Biden declare America's 'One China, One Taiwan' policy? India's S-400 missile system problem Overnight Defense & National Security — GOP unhappy with Afghan vetting MORE

Markey said the idea of Biden testifying is a “red herring” put out by Trump’s defense team. 

“Again it's just not relevant and it's a way to distract and ultimately to deny the factual core of the charges made against Trump,” Markey said.

A vote on whether to allow witnesses during the trial is expected on Friday. If all Democrats vote in favor of the measure, they will need at least four Republicans to join them in order for it to pass. 

Several Republicans have signaled they may vote to hear from witnesses, especially in wake of a New York Times report Sunday night on Bolton’s manuscript of his forthcoming memoir.

Trump's former national security adviser reportedly claims that the president tied military aid to Ukraine directly to investigations into the Bidens, backing the allegations at the core of the impeachment charges.