The US Republican party on Saturday fought back against an impeachment investigation into President Donald Trump by calling for the son of his main rival Joe Biden to be called as a witness.
Trump has repeatedly accused the Bidens of unspecified corruption due to Hunter Biden’s role as a director of Ukraine energy company Burisma when Joe Biden was vice president.
Devin Nunes, the senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, which is holding impeachment hearings, said Burisma reportedly paid Hunter Biden $50,000 a month to sit on its board.
Hunter Biden’s “firsthand experiences with Burisma can assist the American public in understanding the nature and extent of Ukraine’s pervasive corruption,” Nunes wrote.
Trump has dismissed allegations of misconduct after he pressed Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to open a graft investigation into Joe Biden -- a leading candidate to win the Democratic party nomination and to try to oust Trump in the 2020 election.
Nunes criticized what he called a “sham impeachment process” and said testimony from Hunter Biden would boost transparency in an “opaque and unfair process.”
He also called for the whistleblower who reported a July phone call between Trump and Zelensky to be called as a witness.
Democrats, who control the House of Representatives, must approve witness requests submitted by Republicans and are expected to reject the request for Hunter Biden and the unnamed whistleblower.
The Democrats are aiming to make Trump only the third president in US history to be impeached, which would see him go on trial for removal in the Republican-dominated Senate.
Trump has defended the July phone call with Zelensky as “perfect,” despite the rough transcript released by the White House appearing to support the allegations against him.
More than a dozen witnesses so far appear to have also broadly backed the Democrats’ allegations, which include a charge that Trump held up military aid for Ukraine to force it to investigate Biden.
The impeachment hearings have been held behind closed doors but will be held in public next week.