Sunday, December 29, 2019

No Malarkey, Mr. Biden?

This former Alabama practicing attorney thinks if VP Joe Biden used his office to help his son do business in Ukraine, then President Trump had a duty to have that investigated by US law enforcement, the FBI, I suppose. Instead, it appears Trump squeezed Ukraine’s President to investigate, and did that turn up any wrongdoing by VP Biden? If not, why would the Republican-controlled US Senate subpoena him? That aside, if "No Malarkey" presidential candidate Joe Biden did nothing wrong, why isn't he demanding to testify before the Senate and out the Republicans' "No Show" President Trump? Imagine the political hay the Democrats could pitchfork with that! [For anyone who thinks I'm a Democrat, I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, either.]

From The New York Times:

Biden, Reversing Position, Says He Would Comply With Impeachment Subpoena

By Thomas Kaplan

Published Dec. 28, 2019
Updated Dec. 29, 2019, 1:04 a.m. ET

FAIRFIELD, Iowa — Joseph R. Biden Jr. backtracked on Saturday from his stated position that he would not comply with a subpoena to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate. Instead, he declared that he would abide by “any subpoena that was sent to me” even as he insisted there was no justification for calling him as a witness.

A day after reaffirming that he would not comply with a subpoena, Mr. Biden tried twice on Saturday to clarify his remarks, asserting that there would be no “legal basis” for such a subpoena but left it unclear, for much of the day, if he would ultimately comply with one. Then, questioned by a voter about the issue of compliance with subpoenas, Mr. Biden answered unequivocally.

“I would obey any subpoena that was sent to me,” he said at a town hall-style event in Fairfield.

Mr. Biden’s 180-degree turn on whether he would comply with a subpoena was one of the starkest and swiftest reversals by a candidate in the Democratic primary campaign, and came after he faced questions and criticism about whether his initial stand would run counter to the rule of law.

Mr. Biden’s varied responses to a hypothetical question, in which he had criticized himself for drawing attention to in the first place, played out from a series of tweets on Saturday morning to remarks to reporters early in the afternoon to his answer in Fairfield on Saturday night.

The issue loomed over his campaign as he courted Iowa voters on a two-day swing, joining several other candidates under a gray, rainy sky as they returned to the state just over five weeks before the nominating caucuses.

On Saturday morning, Mr. Biden wrote on Twitter that he wanted to “clarify” comments he had made on Friday, when he met with the editorial board of The Des Moines Register, whose endorsement in the Iowa caucuses is highly sought after by presidential candidates.

Mr. Biden was asked by The Register whether he stood by previous comments that he would not comply with a subpoena to testify in the impeachment trial. He said he did, and explained that complying with a subpoena and testifying would effectively allow Mr. Trump to shift attention onto Mr. Biden and away from the president’s own conduct. Mr. Biden made similar comments to reporters aboard his campaign bus on Friday night.

On Saturday morning, Mr. Biden elaborated on Twitter: “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 also wrote that over the course of his decades-long political career, he had “always complied with a lawful order,” and that in his two terms as vice president, his office had “cooperated with legitimate congressional oversight requests.”

Speaking to reporters after a town hall-style event in Tipton, Mr. Biden said he had “no firsthand knowledge” about the accusations against Mr. Trump, so there was “no basis” for calling him as a witness. But, he added, “I would honor whatever the Congress in fact legitimately asked me to do.”

Asked if he would challenge a subpoena in court, he responded: “The answer is, I don’t think that’s going to happen to begin with. Let’s cross that bridge when it comes.” He added that he would abide by “whatever was legally required of me.”

One of Mr. Biden’s top rivals for the Democratic nomination, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, also weighed in on Saturday, telling reporters in Des Moines, “If there is a lawfully issued order for a subpoena, then he should follow it.”

The House impeached Mr. Trump this month over his campaign to pressure Ukraine to investigate Mr. Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California has said she would not formally send the articles of impeachment to the upper chamber until she had assurances that the trial would be conducted fairly.

As he spoke to reporters in Tipton, Mr. Biden seemed to fault himself for creating a story line in the news media that continued on Saturday. Mr. Biden observed that “this is going to be the news today” and added that he was “criticizing myself,” not the news media.

“I shouldn’t even have answered the question,” he said. “Because in answering the question, now there’s going to be another round. We’re not talking about: What did Trump do?”

Traveling around Iowa in his “No Malarkey” campaign bus, Mr. Biden held three town hall-style events on Saturday, fielding questions from the audience at each one. At an event in Washington, Iowa, one attendee asked Mr. Biden if he would nominate former President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court.

“If he’d take it, yes,” Mr. Biden responded.

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