Republicans on Saturday asked that former Vice President Joe Biden’s son and the whistleblower whose complaint triggered the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump be called to testify in public hearings that begin next week, Reuters reported.
Democrats who control the U.S. House of Representatives, however, likely will reject appearances by Hunter Biden and the unidentified whistleblower in the hearings due to open on Wednesday.
Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, included the pair in a list of proposed witnesses that he sent in a letter to the panel’s Democratic chairman, Adam Schiff, published on multiple news websites.
In the letter, Nunes said the Democrats were pursuing a “sham impeachment process” that has mistreated Trump. Nunes also accused Schiff of fabricating evidence in order to cast “in a sinister light” the telephone call at the inquiry’s heart.
Trump used the July 25 call – a rough transcript of which was released by the White House – to press Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy to investigate the Bidens.
Joe Biden is a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination to oppose Trump’s bid for re-election next year. While he served as vice president, his son was on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy firm, Reuters adds.
The whistleblower complaint alleged that Trump used the call to seek foreign help for personal political gain, a charge broadly substantiated by the testimonies of current and former U.S. officials in three weeks of closed hearings.