14:10 GMT +319 January 2020
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    The Biden family is at the heart of the Democratic Party’s effort to impeach President Trump, with both Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden accused of abusing their office for their own personal gain.

    Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic Party presidential candidate Joe Biden has reiterated that he has no plans to testify at the upcoming Senate impeachment trial against President Trump, doubling down on earlier remarks in which he said he would not do so even if subpoenaed.

    “In my 40 years in public life, 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. But I am just not going to pretend that there is any legal basis for Republican subpoenas for my testimony in the impeachment trial,” Biden wrote on his official twitter account.

    “That is the point I was making yesterday and I reiterate: this impeachment is about Trump’s conduct, not mine,” he added.

    According to Biden, the subpoenas should instead “go to witnesses with testimony to offer to Trump’s shaking down the Ukraine government –they should go to the White House.”

    The former vice president has yet to receive any formal summons to the Senate’s impeachment trial against President Trump, which is expected to start in January. However, on Friday, Biden told The Des Moines Register that he would not comply with a subpoena.

    Bidens’ Burisma Blunder

    Biden, Trump’s potential rival in 2020, is at the centre of the Democratic Party effort to impeach the president. Democrats accuse Trump of attempting to strong-arm Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into digging up dirt on his political opponent by restarting a criminal inquiry into the activities of Biden’s son Hunter in Ukraine. According to Trump’s opponents, the president threatened to withhold close to $400 million in military aid to Ukraine unless the inquiry was restarted.

    Between 2014 and 2019, Hunter Biden sat on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Many Republicans believe Biden was given the $50,000 a month no-show job as a means for access to the Obama White House. Hunter and his father deny these claims. In 2016, Ukraine’s top prosecutor began a criminal probe into Burisma and Biden, but the probe was frozen and the prosecutor sacked after a direct personal intervention by Vice President Biden. Later, at a Council of Foreign Relations event, Biden let slip that he had threatened to withhold a $1 billion economic aid package unless the prosecutor was fired. The former vice president later claimed the pressure was related to Ukraine's alleged 'backsliding on democracy', not his son.

    Last week, US media reported, citing court documents, that Hunter Biden had been implicated in “more than one criminal investigation involving fraud, money laundering and counterfeiting scheme.” One of these investigations was said to have been related to Biden’s former employment with Burisma.


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