During a town hall in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Joe Biden said he now supports the impeachment of President Donald Trump. “With his words and his actions, President Trump has indicted himself,” Biden told the crowd.
“He has already convicted himself,” Biden then declared. “In full view of the world and the American people, Donald Trump has violated his oath of office, he betrayed this nation, and committed impeachable acts.”
President Trump quickly responded on Twitter:
So pathetic to see Sleepy Joe Biden, who with his son, Hunter, and to the detriment of the American Taxpayer, has ripped off at least two countries for millions of dollars, calling for my impeachment - and I did nothing wrong. Joe’s Failing Campaign gave him no other choice!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2019
Since Biden and other Democrats have already decided the president is guilty, the White House sent a letter to House Democrats yesterday announcing they would not be participating in the Democrats’ “partisan and unconstitutional inquiry.” The letter explains:
"For example, you have denied the President the right to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, to receive transcripts of testimony, to have access to evidence, to have counsel present, and many other basic rights guaranteed to tall Americans. You have conducted your proceedings in secret. You have violated civil liberties and the separation of powers by threatening Executive Branch officials, claiming that you will seek to punish those who exercise fundamental constitutional rights and prerogatives. All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent. Never before in our history has the House of Representatives—under the control of either political party—taken the American people down the dangerous path you seem determined to pursue.”
As the LA Times reported on Monday, Speaker Pelosi bypassed a vote on a formal impeachment resolution that would have allowed the inquiry to be conducted in a traditional manner that has historically granted more fairness to Republicans and the president. For example, both Nixon and Clinton faced formal impeachment inquiries that allowed the minority party at the time to subpoena witnesses.
“If similar language were included in a House impeachment inquiry resolution against President Trump — which is what Republicans are pushing for — it would theoretically enable GOP members to, say, subpoena testimony or information from former Vice President Joe Biden, or his son Hunter, or try to take the inquiry into an entirely different direction,” the LA Times reported.
And perhaps Biden is afraid of what direction the impeachment inquiry might take, and he would probably like to see Trump impeached sooner rather than later.
For Biden, there is no time for Republican subpoenas and cross-examining witnesses. As he told the crowd in New Hampshire, “we have to remember, impeachment isn’t only about what the president has done. It’s about the threat the president poses to the nation if allowed to remain in office.”
Watch Biden's full remarks here.