After brutal mockery, Biden kinda-sorta walks back refusal to obey Senate impeachment trial subpoena
But as liberal journalist Sam Stein noted: “he doesn’t explicitly say he’d comply with a subpoena in this instance; merely, that he believes the subpoena would be illegitimate (with the implication being that he’d fight it in court)”
Joe Biden was clear twice on the record in the past month that he would refuse to obey a Senate subpoena to testify at Trump’s impeachment trial. There was no lack of clarity in the questions or Biden’s answer.
As documented in my prior post, Biden said it in an NPR interview earlier this month and again to the Des Moines Register yesterday.
Biden’s preemptive refusal to obey a Senate subpoena received widespread news coverage, including even in the mainstream media:
Biden also was mocked relentlessly in light of Democrats impeaching Trump for allegedly “obstructing Congress” by not complying with congressional subpeonas. Of course, Trump has a legal defense to the subpoenas, based on separation of powers and executive privilege, while Biden has no legal defense.
On social media, the irony was not lost:
Biden announces that he will defy a congressional subpoena in the trial over whether Trump should be removed for defying a congressional subpoena.
NBC reporter Jonathan Allen noted:
Biden preemptively rejecting a subpoena has the effect of providing air cover for the White House.
Even Chris Cuomo figured it out:
“The idea of what Joe Biden is arguing here is exactly what you just impeached the president for.”
Cuomo on Biden saying he will not comply with a Subpoena to testify before a Senate Impeachment Trial:
“The idea of what Joe Biden is arguing here is exactly what you just impeached the president for.”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) December 28, 2019
Bernie Bros used it as a sign that Biden couldn’t handle going up against Trump:
Joe “most electable” Biden says he won’t comply with a subpoena. For fucks sake people, this is part of why Trump was impeached. Biden would lose to Trump. Full stop.
Biden’s campaign must have told him to walk it back, because he took to Twitter to try to walk it back:
I want to clarify something I said yesterday. In my 40 years in public life, I have always complied with a lawful order and in my eight years as VP, my office — unlike Donald Trump and Mike Pence — cooperated with legitimate congressional oversight requests.
But I am just not going to pretend that there is any legal basis for Republican subpoenas for my testimony in the impeachment trial. That is the point I was making yesterday and I reiterate: this impeachment is about Trump’s conduct, not mine.
The subpoenas should go to witnesses with testimony to offer to Trump’s shaking down the Ukraine government — they should go to the White House.
Joe’s walkback was short of a statement he would comply, as liberal journalist Sam Stein tweeted:
some clarification here from Biden though—as far as I can tell— he doesn’t explicitly say he’d comply with a subpoena in this instance; merely, that he believes the subpoena would be illegitimate (with the implication being that he’d fight it in court).
This just reinforces the argument that despite spending his entire career in politics, Biden still is not ready for the presidential prime time. That’s a problem because being electable against Trump is all Biden has.
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“subpoena would be illegitimate (with the implication being that he’d fight it in court”
Does any court have jurisdiction to make a ruling in a Senate impeachment trial? IMO, that would be a real Constitutional “crisis”.
On the validity of a congressional subpoena, yes. If only because nowadays contempt of congress is only ever tried in the courts.
The answer to your question is “No.”. See my explanation below.
If I were as corrupt as Biden I wouldn’t want to testify either. On the other hand, he should live up to his own standards in that if he hasn’t done anything wrong he doesn’t have anything to worry about.
I miss the days of George Washington.
Welcome to the days of Lincoln.
Lincoln used government force to seize assets of newspapers that wrote stuff he didn’t like; threw journalists in jail without due process; and presided over a civil war in which several hundred thousand people died and many more were maimed and injured. He was not impeached.
He was, however, assassinated.
Impeachment and assassination were described by Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention as remedies available to remove an “obnoxious magistrate”. He preferred impeachment over assassination. Unlike assassination, impeachment afforded the accused of due process – a fair proceeding in which the accused had a chance to clear his name.
Since impeachment was considered a civilized substitute for assassination, I believe the bar for impeachment ought to be conduct so extreme that a supermajority of the electorate would choose assassination if impeachment were not available as a remedy. That’s why I think Clinton’s impeachment was wrong.
In today’s world, practically every action of the president’s conduct is monitored and scrutinized in real time. Consequently, I don’t think it is very likely a president can engage in conduct that a large majority of the electorate would choose to assassinate the president over if impeachment were not available as a remedy. (A president can, of course, be tried for crimes committed while in office after he leaves office.)
The idea that Trump was impeached by the House because he asked for an investigation into potential corruption, IMO, is a grotesque “abuse of power” by Democrats. To add insult to injury, so far Pelosi has refused to forward the articles of impeachment to the Senate depriving Trump of a trial and the opportunity to clear his name. In a normally functioning society with a well informed electorate relying on reason rather than passion and emotion, rational voters would severely punish Democrats for their abuse of power in the next election. I don’t think that’s the society we have. Unfortunately.
Boy, he’s so tough. He probaby can beat his way out of a paper bag faster than barack obama.
Non – Sequitur … yesterday I was in my Public Library, as I read at least 6 books a week, in one of the racks I saw this book that was apparently some series featuring the adventures of Obama and Biden. Some mystery book type of trope.
This one featured Obama holding Biden’s hand while on a rope ladder coming from a helicopter.
I’m guessing the liberal idiots would love this crap, but come on man… sheesh, Obama would be far to lazy to do amateur sleuth work, and Biden is far too stupid to figure anything out. I guess they have Biden as the “muscle”. lol
40 years in politics and he’s literally no competition for Trump in the “political ring” or in actual policy. Shows what 40 years of liberalism will do to you…
When then Federal Judge (and now Rep., D-FL 20) Alcee Hastings was tried and found guilty in his Senate impeachment trial on charges centering around $150,000 in bribes he was accused of taking, he tried to appeal to the Supreme Court on the basis that the trial’s hearings took place in front of a Senate committee formed for the purpose instead of the full Senate. SCOTUS tossed the suit out, saying the the Constitution put the sole power to try an impeachment with the Senate and they had no say in how they did it. So I figure they will reject any attempt on Mr. Biden’s part to quash a subpoena, and the Senate can have the Senate’s Sargeant at Arms physically compel him to appear.
That’s my impression…SCOTUS won’t touch the Senate Rules:
” The Senate discussed on an earlier occasion how the
Sergeant at Arms might enforce its subpena. In 1868 during the
trial of Andrew Johnson, there was a discussion of the power of
the Sergeant at Arms to summon a posse comitatus 247 and
finally the following wording was adopted regarding the powers
of the Sergeant at Arms:
247 March 2, 1868, 40-2, Congressional Globe, pp. 1526-33.
. . . And the Sergeant at Arms, under the direction
of the Senate, may employ such aid and assistance as
may be necessary to enforce, execute, and carry into
effect the lawful orders, mandates, writs, and precepts
of the Senate.248
CTH just published an article that indicates that the Senate will try the two ‘charges’ straight up as they came from the house, leaving the battlefield clean for the DOJ to have an opportunity to bring Biden & Co. to justice. (If only justice would be done.) There is such dishonesty and graft on both sides of the aisle it is mind boggling.
Trump impeachment: Senate GOP reportedly unites behind a no-witness trial
Seems like he could have stood his ground, but it looks bad when a top Democrat does what Trump is accused of in one of the articles of impeachment.
I’m not so sure that the absence of calling witnesses would let Biden out of this so easily.
Trump is rightfully PO’d on this, and Biden was part of the corrupt regime. Rudy has documents and is making a lot of noise. He wants to nail Biden and the rest of the Ukraine cabal.
Trump was punched hard by this phony impeachment mess, which in large part focused on Ukraine, even though they dropped that.
This is really about the left getting the Grand Jury material released officially so it can be leaked. The left already have it thanks to the Herr Mueller TDS crew who handed over plenty to Nadless, but their hands are tied because it is Grand Jury testimony which – wink, wink – they can’t have.
“I want to clarify something I said yesterday. In my 40 years in public life, I have always complied with a lawful order and in my eight years as VP, my office — unlike Donald Trump and Mike Pence — cooperated with legitimate congressional oversight requests.”
Don’t you just love the way he throws around the words lawful and legitimate? like wildcards, like a get-out-of-jail-free card, what he said really doesn’t mean a thing. Leaving himself avenues of escape. Plausible deniability. What a hollow vapid shell of a man. And he wants to be president. Disgusting.
Put down the microphone grandpa. It’s time to go to bed now. Say good-night to grandpa kids. Let’s go gramps. Off to bed.
biden is a clear example of the entrenched D.C. swamp creature elected by constuitants asleep at the switch. There are plenty more, and it doesn’t matter if they are GOPe or dems, they have to go.
biden’s antics continue to expose his true character–he’s a coward and a fool–would imagine many of the corrupt dems/leftists are terrified of his appearance before a senate panel prepared to ask him a few tough questions about his complicity in the ukraine nonsense and that of his son–and who ELSE was involved
the swamp will never allow slow joe to expose them
So is this Biden’s Nixonian Modified Limited Hangout?