WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden clarified his position on a suggestion he wouldn’t comply with a potential subpoena to testify at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
“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,” Biden said in a Facebook post on Saturday, which was also issued as a series of tweets.
There is no legal basis for Republican subpoenas that would compel his testimony at the impeachment trial, said the 2020 presidential hopeful, who is campaigning in Iowa.
On Friday, Biden said in an interview with the Des Moines Register editorial board that any testimony he could provide would just distract from the charges that Trump abused the power of the presidency by pressuring Ukraine to smear him.
“That is the point I was making yesterday and I reiterate: this impeachment is about Trump’s conduct, not mine,” he said on Facebook. “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.”
Biden’s campaign late Friday released the names of more than 250 individuals who have raised at least $25,000 for his campaign, including trial lawyers, real estate developers and financial industry figures.
He follows Pete Buttigieg, who released a list of his “bundlers” — people who tap their professional and personal networks to donate to a campaign — on Dec. 13, in response to criticism from Elizabeth Warren, who raises the bulk of her funds from small-dollar donors. Bernie Sanders, the top fundraiser among Democrats, also relies on grassroots donors.
Trial lawyers, long a pillar in Democratic fundraising, were the backbone of Biden’s fundraising operation, with 32 partners in firms specializing in personal injury, product liability and other plaintiff suits backing the Democratic front-runner.
The financial industry was also a source of support.