Hunter Biden needs to testify in the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said on Thursday, adding that he thinks Bidens father, former Vice President and current 2020 contender Joe Biden should also probably answer questions from lawmakers.
The caveat, Hawley said, was whether the Senate would even call witnesses.
“I think its now clear we absolutely must call Hunter Biden and we probably need to call Joe Biden. Based on the House managers presentation today, I think we probably are going to need to hear from the former Vice President if indeed we call witnesses,” Hawley told reporters in a mid-afternoon break in the trial, citing arguments House impeachment managers made.
“They also showed how central the Bidens are to their argument—I mean really, really central—and how important it is for them that Hunter Biden not be involved in any kind of corruption with Burisma.”
Hawley said House Democrats were making contradictory arguments: that a prosecutor was ousted at the behest of the Obama administration because he wasnt investigating Burisma enough, but that Trump was wrong to try to get Ukraine to probe the firing of the investigator.
“You cant have it both ways: either Burisma was a source of corruption, and needed to be investigated, or it wasnt.”
Hunter Biden sat on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian company, from 2014 to 2019. Joe Biden pressured Ukraines leaders to oust a top prosecutor in 2016, Biden recounted during a 2018 event.
“I said, youre not getting the billion. Im going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: Im leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, youre not getting the money. Well, son of a [expletive]. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden said.
The prosecutor who was ousted, Viktor Shokin, was probing Burisma, and had plans to question Hunter Biden.
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) told senators on Thursday that the theory that Biden tried to oust the prosecutor who was probing Burisma to protect his son was “far fetched.”
“As the theory goes, Vice President Biden tried to remove Ukraines prosecutor all to make sure the prosecutor would not investigate that specific company, Burisma. Because, again, his son was on the board. Senators, if that does not sound far-fetched and complicated to you, it should,” the House impeachment manager said.
“Lets be very clear that Vice President Biden called for the removal of this prosecutor as the official direction of U.S. policy because the prosecutor was widely perceived as corrupt.”
Garcia said shed walk the senators through the theory “step-by-step,” and spent over an hour talking about the Bidens and showing video clips of House impeachment inquiry witnesses discussing Burisma and the Bidens.
Hawley isnt the only GOP member pushing for at least one Biden to testify. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told reporters in Washington outside the trial on Wednesday that Hunter Bidens testimony “is now critical” following opening arguments by House impeachment manager Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
Schiff “not only made his testimony relevant, which it already was, but it is now critical because the House Democrats have built their entire case on the proposition that any investigation into Burisma and corruption was a sham … the problem is, there is very significant prima facie evidence of corruption,” Cruz said.