Former Vice President Joe Biden has rejected the idea that his son, Hunter, should testify in President Trump's impeachment trial. He seemed open, however, to the Senate calling new witnesses, a point of contention between Democrats and Senate Republicans.
While discussing Republicans potentially subpoenaing him, Biden indicated the White House should receive those requests. "The subpoenas should go to witnesses with testimony to offer to Trump’s shaking down the Ukraine government — they should go to the White House," he tweeted.
But in 1999, Biden appeared to sing a different tune. As a Delaware senator at the time, he made several statements that would appear to contradict his party's current narrative surrounding evidence and witnesses in impeachment trials.
During Clinton's impeachment, Biden voted against a measure that would have allowed House managers to subpoena witnesses. He also opposed a resolution that would have allowed witnesses to be present during Clinton's trial.
Biden's campaign did not respond to Fox News' request for comment.
While speaking to Fox News in 1999, Biden suggested introducing new witnesses was "contrary to any notion of due process."
"I think it would be absolutely unfair, contrary to any notion of due process if now, after all the time the House spent, all this voluminous record, they said, ‘By the way, there is Jane Doe or Charlie Doe out there. We never spoke to them. No one has -- they weren’t before the House. They weren’t in the House record. We want to call them now,'" he said during a Jan. 8 episode of "Special Report.
Previous reports also indicated that Biden saw the push for witnesses as an unnecessary distraction by Republicans.
"I think they realize that the press and the public consigned them to the waste bin of history. They realize they have nothing to lose," he said, according to a Jan. 10 article in the Chicago Tribune. "They have already lost in history’s eye. I’m convinced their only vindication is a finding of guilt or the prospect of bringing other people down to their level."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., initially refused to send impeachment articles to the Senate, citing Republicans' cooperation with the White House. According to Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Mark Pocan, D-Wis., Pelosi was "simply trying to get the Senate to follow the rules so that the American people can really see the truth front and center." He specifically called for Republicans to allow White House witnesses to testify.
Biden, now the Democratic frontrunner, previously pushed back on the idea that the House of Representatives could influence the Senate's process.
During an appearance on CNN in 1999, he said: “Look, one thing is very important to make clear: neither the president nor the House of Representatives has any say in how we proceed in the Senate. Under our rules in the Constitution, we are not only the triers of fact, but also the jury, which means we can decide how to proceed, and any witness that has to be called has to be subpoenaed and can only be subpoenaed by the senators.”