On Friday, Dec. 27, former Vice President Joe Biden said that he would not comply with a subpoena to testify in President Trump’s upcoming Senate impeachment trial.
In an interview with the editorial board of the De Moines Register in Iowa, Biden claimed that if he were issued a subpoena to appear before the Senate, any testimony he would give would only draw attention away from Trump’s alleged wrongdoing and would effectively let the president off the hook.
“What are you going to cover?” Biden said to Register Executive Editor Carol Hunter in response to a question about the possibility of his participation in the trial. “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 …” he added. “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.”
The Democrat-controlled House impeached Trump earlier this month for “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” related to his dealings with Ukraine. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to deliver the articles of impeachment to the Senate.
Biden Forced to Clarify His Statement on Subpoena
However, soon after the former VP made those statements, he was forced to clarify his position – which as stated – meant he would be breaking the law.
By Saturday, Biden was singing a different tune.
“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,” he tweeted.
“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,” he said.
Later on Saturday, during a town hall in Iowa, Biden said he “would obey any subpoena sent to me.”
“The question is, did Trump do his job,” he added.