Politics

Biden Says He Won’t Testify in Any Senate Trial — Then Tries to Clarify

Former vice president said he would refuse to cooperate should such a step come his way — but now he's walking that back more than a little

Image Credit: Screenshot, CNN/NYTimes

Joe Biden, the former vice president and a 2020 Democrat primary frontrunner, threatened in an interview on Friday with the editorial board of The Des Moines Register to obstruct justice when he said he would not honor a subpoena if one were issued to him in the Senate trial of President Donald Trump.

That effectively means he would be ignoring a subpoena issued by a court — whose judge would be the chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Related: Trump Ready for Any Senate Trial

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Biden, however, appeared to walk back that statement on Saturday — or at least to try to clarify it, in an effort to lessen the damage done by his original intemperate remark.

At a campaign event in Tipton, Iowa, he said he would indeed comply with whatever Congress “legitimately” asked of him.

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He also tweeted this: “I want to clarify something … 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 that was very vague — and very late.

“I would honor whatever the Congress in fact legitimately asked me to do,” Biden also told reporters on Saturday.

His earlier strong statement struck many as a seeming abuse of the power of his position as a leader in the Democratic Party; and it was accompanied by, in typical Biden fashion, a bragging of his wish to manipulate the system to his own benefit.

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“What are you guys going to cover?” said Biden to the editorial board on Friday. “You guys are going to cover for three weeks anything that I said. And [Trump’s] going to get away.”

The above direct quote is an admission that apart from any sense of due process, constitutional reasoning, or justice, Biden is only worried that negative news coverage of his possible misdeeds would result in a presidential acquittal.

And worry he should.

From his highly questionable interference in the Ukrainian legal system to remove a prosecutor who was targeting the corrupt energy firm that employed his completely unqualified son — another move he bragged about — to this refusal to answer a legally binding subpoena if it is issued to him, Joe Biden colludes with fellow Dems in a cover-up so multi-layered that previous political scandals pale in comparison.

He’d be lucky to leave the court without a pending indictment.

The effect of his testimony in the case against the president?

At least he got that one right.

Those are only his legal worries.

His political situation is even worse. Biden’s continued gaffes and confusions portray him to a rebellious and youth-oriented Dem primary voter base as befuddled and an out-of-touch remnant from a past era.

In the same interview with the Register’s editorial board, Biden also oddly claimed, “The guy [the president] violated the Constitution. He said it in the driveway of the White House. He acknowledged he asked for help.”

There is no public record of President Trump’s admitting to violating the Constitution while in the driveway of the Executive Mansion or any other structure.

Nor is there any part of the U.S. Constitution that stipulates “asking for help” violates the law, its articles, or the presidential oath of office.

It is thus no wonder Biden has not been endorsed by former President Barack Obama — or can nail down even close to a majority of the Democrat primary electorate.

While generally devoid of proper ideological judgment, even they can recognize a train wreck when they see one.

This article was updated with the latest information.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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