You are here

Biden says he won't testify at Trump trial

nz_biden_281269.jpg
Former Vice-President Joe Biden again said that he would refuse to testify in President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial, even if subpoenaed.

[NEW YORK] Former Vice-President Joe Biden again said that he would refuse to testify in President Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial, even if subpoenaed.

In an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board, Mr Biden said any testimony would just distract from the charges that Mr Trump abused the power of the presidency by pressuring Ukraine to smear him and obstructed Congress by refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

"What are you going to cover?" he told the influential Iowa newspaper's editor. "You guys are going to cover for three weeks anything that I said. And (Trump's) going to get away. You guys buy into it all the time. Not a joke."

Mr Biden said earlier this month that he would not testify, saying it would allow lawmakers to "take their eye off the ball" instead of focusing on Mr Trump's actions.

For now, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has indicated he would prefer a trial with no witnesses, though Mr Trump and some of his Republican allies have floated calling Mr Biden and his son Hunter to testify.

Only a little more than a week after Senator Elizabeth Warren boasted about her grassroots fundraising at a Democratic debate, her campaign admitted it is falling short.

In an email to supporters, the Warren campaign said it has raised less money than in the previous quarter.

"So far this quarter, we've raised a little over US$17 million. That's a good chunk behind where we were at this time last quarter," the email says, according to CNBC. If that holds, it would be about a 30 per cent drop from her third-quarter total of roughly US$25 million.

Campaigns frequently send these kinds of last-minute appeals just before the Federal Election Commission reporting deadlines. In this case, Tuesday will be the deadline for both the fourth quarter and the annual campaign finance reports.

But it's particularly bad timing for Ms Warren, who sparred with South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg last week over his reliance on big donors, especially a fundraiser held in a "wine cave" in California.

Ms Warren has eschewed fundraisers with big donors, relying instead on small, mostly online donations, though she accepts US$2,800 donations from individuals, the maximum a person can contribute. 

Five Democratic candidates - Ms Warren, Mr Sanders, Mr Biden, Mr Buttigieg and Senator Amy Klobuchar have qualified for the next debate, on Jan 14, in Iowa.

BLOOMBERG