Democrats mull offer of Biden testimony in exchange for Bolton: Report – Business Insider

  • Senate Democrats are considering offering Republicans a deal during Trump’s impeachment trial, according to the Washington Post.
  • They are considering proposing that Hunter Biden testify in exchange for testimony from a key administration official, such as former White House national security adviser John Bolton, the Post said.
  • Trump’s obsession with getting Ukraine to announce a probe into Hunter Biden is at the heart of events that resulted in his impeachment. 
  • Democrats and Republicans are currently haggling over the terms of the trial, with Democrats pushing for new witnesses to be heard and Republicans resisting. 
  • Bolton is believed to likely have new and damaging information about Trump’s search for Biden dirt, and his withholding of military aid to Ukraine, which Democrats allege the president used as leverage. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Senate Democrats are privately considering offering Republicans a witness swap deal in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, The Washington Post reported.

According to the report, Democrats are considering proposing that Hunter Biden take the stand in exchange for testimony from a key administration official such as former White Houser national security adviser John Bolton.

In public, Democrats have flatly rejected the prospect of Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, appearing as a witness in the impeachment trial, but in private conversations it’s a possibility they’re discussing, the Post said.

Biden’s work as a consultant for Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, is at the heart of the events that resulted in Trump’s impeachment. 

Trump Bolton

National Security Adviser John Bolton stands alongside US President Donald Trump as he speaks during a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 17, 2018.
Saul Loeb/Getty Images

Trump dispatched allies such as Rudy Giuliani to investigate unsubstantiated allegations that Joe Biden helped quash a corruption allegation into Burisma when he was vice president.

Democrats say the search for a Biden probe was a smear job intended to damage Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy. Republicans say the president was concerned about corruption in Ukraine. 

It was a whistleblower’s complaint about a July 25 phone call in which Trump urged Ukraine’s president to launch a Biden probe that led to the impeachment investigation. 

The White House has so far resisted providing any witnesses or evidence to the impeachment probe, but Bolton, who left his position in September, has said he would be willing to testify before the impeachment trial if issued with a subpoena. 

According to impeachment witness Fiona Hill, a former White House Russia adviser, Bolton was highly critical of Giuliani’s activities in Ukraine, referring to it as a “drug deal”, and observers believe he is likely to have information damaging to Trump’s defense. 

Trump’s impeachment trial will continue on Wednesday, with Republicans and Democrats in the opening days deciding on the terms of the proceedings.

Among the key questions is whether or not to allow new witnesses to testify, with Democrats needing the support of only four Republicans to win a motion for new witnesses. 

“If there are four Republicans who open the conversation about witnesses, then I assume there will be a negotiation that follows — but I can’t tell you where it goes,” Senate Minority whip Richard Durbin told the Post, refusing to rule out the prospect of Biden testifying.

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