Former Vice President Joe BIden said he would defy a Senate subpoena before vowing that he would comply with a Senate subpoena over the weekend.
Biden told the Des Moines Register that he would not testify at Trump’s Senate impeachment trial because it would take the focus off of Trump.
“You guys are going to cover for three weeks anything that I said. And (Trump’s) going to get away,” he said. “You guys buy into it all the time. Not a joke … Think what it’s about. It’s all about what he does all the time, his entire career. Take the focus off. This guy violated the Constitution. He said it in the driveway of the White House. He acknowledged he asked for help.”
Biden tries to clarify:
Biden tried to clarify his comments on Twitter.
“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,” he wrote. “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,” he added, “they should go to the White House.”
Biden now says he will comply:
Biden completed his walk-back on Saturday when he told an Iowa town hall audience that he would “obey any subpoena that was sent to me.”
“But the point I was making, as it relates to me, is the only rational reason … that I could possibly be called in an impeachment trial was, ‘Can I shed any light on whether or not he committed the crimes he’s accused of?’” he explained. “And there’s no reason to believe I would have any notion of whether he committed that crime.”