House Judiciary Committee member Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said that if Republicans can manage it, Hunter Biden and the anonymous whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry would testify in front of the committee.
“If we can prove that the president’s questions about Hunter Biden, about Burisma were legitimate, that they were well-founded in what our diplomatic corps and what other professionals believe, then it can’t possibly be this, you know, this shakedown that [Rep.] Adam Schiff and [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi are spewing to the American people,” Gaetz told Fox News. “And so that’s why getting that exculpatory evidence into the record is so important.”
Gaetz, who led a group of Republican lawmakers into a secure House Intelligence Committee-led impeachment deposition last month, said the son of former Vice President Joe Biden would be called if he had a say.
“Hunter Biden would be probably one of our top witnesses. I think the whistleblower would be a witness,” Gaetz told Fox. “And I think that others who can expound on the testimony of George Kent that reflect on the concerns with Burisma and the ingrained corruption with that company.”
Democrats have alleged that President Donald Trump misused his office by allegedly withholding military aid to Ukraine in exchange for investigations into the Bidens, which Trump has repeatedly denied. Ukrainian officials have also denied the claims. Hunter Biden sat on the board of Burisma Holdings, whose founder was under investigation for corruption in Ukraine at the time, while his father was in office. The Bidens have denied the corruption claims.
Following weeks of public hearings and depositions under the Intelligence Committee, the House Judiciary Committee led by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) is taking over the inquiry.
Gaetz, meanwhile, told the news outlet that Americans have largely tuned out during the impeachment hearings.
“I think voters are concerned about their own needs, their own challenges, their own opportunities in their lives,” Gaetz explained. “And if you look at the Trump economy, the hottest in the world, it’s creating that opportunity for Americans each and every day.”
“And so I think that Nancy Pelosi and other House Democrats overestimated the extent to which whatever allegations they’re making about the Ukraine really are central to the decisions made by the people, who are our bosses,” Gaetz added.
Nadler also sent a letter (pdf) to Trump and said his committee will allow the hearing to provide an “opportunity to discuss the historical and constitutional basis of impeachment, as well as the Framers’ intent and understanding of terms like ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’”
“We will also discuss whether your alleged actions warrant the House’s exercising its authority to adopt articles of impeachment,” the letter read.
Nadler also said he hopes that Trump and his counsel will participate in the hearing. The ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee is Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.).