Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) told reporters Wednesday that House impeachment manager’s Adam Schiff’s focus on the propriety of President Trump’s request for an investigation into the Bidens made it “critical” that Hunter Biden testify about his role on the board of Burisma.
“I think the House managers made a very serious strategic error today,” Cruz told ABC News. “Adam Schiff’s arguments to open the day today directly drew into question Hunter Biden and made not only his testimony relevant, which it already was, but it is now critical.”
The Texas Republican explained that if Democrats argue that any allegations of corruption against Hunter Biden and former vice president Joe Biden are a “scam,” such claims are “directly relevant” and need to be explored.
Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow later declined to comment on Cruz’s argument.
Cruz first floated the idea of “witness reciprocity” for testimony from Biden in exchange for the testimony of former national security adviser John Bolton on January 14.
In an interview Tuesday with CBS News, Schiff said that Biden’s testimony would be immaterial to the case and “would not be appropriate,” implying that the testimony would amount to a continuation of “the same smear campaign that was foiled when his plot was discovered.”
“Hunter Biden, for example, can’t tell us anything about whether the president withheld military aid, whether he withheld that aid to coerce Ukraine to conduct political investigations. Or why he wouldn’t meet with the president of Ukraine,” Schiff said. “That’s an illegitimate abuse of the trial. And the chief justice, who may have an opportunity to rule on the materiality of witnesses, as well as the senators, should not permit that kind of abuse.”
Speaking Wednesday after news that Democrats were allegedly weighing Cruz’s swap deal, Schiff again shot down any testimony from the Bidens.
“They want to use this trial to smear the Bidens. That’s not the purpose of the trial and the senators should not allow it to be abused in that way,” Schiff told reporters.