Merkley on Biden Testifying: I’m Trying to Be ‘Impartial’ – President Has ‘To Be Able to Present His Case’

On Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “OutFront,” Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) discussed the possibility of 2020 Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden testifying in the Senate’s impeachment trial by stating that he is trying to take an impartial approach, and “the defense needs to be able to pull in and present people that they feel have relevant information…if they think that there is value in certain witnesses to come forward, those folks should testify and be present.”

Merkley responded to a question on whether he would support trading witnesses Democrats want in exchange for Biden testifying by stating that negotiations will happen, and “My feeling is that for it to be a fair and full trial, the defense needs to be able to pull in and present people that they feel have relevant information, or a way to frame that information. And so, if they’re — I personally believe if they think that there is value in certain witnesses to come forward, those folks should testify and be present. But in the House — the White House –.”

Host Jim Sciutto then cut in to say, “It sounds like you’re leaving the door open to former Vice President Biden testifying. Is your — would you support that as a member of the Senate? You’re going to be a juror.”

Merkley answered, “I’m trying to approach it as that impartial juror saying you need to have the information brought to bear by the prosecutors, but you also have to allow the defendant, the president, to be able to present his case fairly, and hopefully, those two visions could both be fulfilled, and then we’d actually be able to have something akin to what the Constitution envisioned.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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