Biden won’t say if he’d vote to convict Trump if still in Senate

Associated Press

Joe Biden declined to say Friday whether he’d vote to convict and remove President Donald Trump from office if he were still in the Senate.

“I am not going to speculate what I would do in the Senate,” he told reporters in Los Angeles. “I’m a former vice president, I know what occurred in Ukraine, I know what occurred in terms of China, I know what occurred in terms of Russia. This is a president trying to get two of our most serious competitors, and not allies, to decide this election, to decide who he runs against.”

He added: “This guy, like all bullies, is a coward. He does not want to run against me.”

House Democrats opened an impeachment inquiry against Trump to determine whether he acted improperly by asking the Ukrainian president to investigate Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for releasing aid. The president has also called on China to investigate the Bidens for “corruption.” There is no evidence either Biden or his son committed any wrongdoing.

A vote to impeach in the House would have to be followed by a trial in the Senate.

Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks during a gun safety forum Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019, in Las Vegas.

Warren fires aide for 'inappropriate behavior’ 

Elizabeth Warren’s campaign fired its national organizing director, Rich McDaniel, after investigating allegations of “inappropriate behavior.”

Campaign spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said in a statement that over the past two weeks senior leaders of the campaign “received multiple complaints regarding inappropriate behavior” by McDaniel. The campaign hired outside counsel to conduct an investigation, she added.

“Based on the results of the investigation, the campaign determined that his reported conduct was inconsistent with its values and that he could not be a part of the campaign moving forward,” Orthman said.

The campaign did not specify the nature of the complaints. – Emma Kinery and Sahil Kapur

Bullock raises $2.3 million in third quarter

Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock raised $2.3 million in the past three months, the smallest third-quarter take disclosed so far by a campaign.

The campaign said he doubled the number of individual contributions and his average online donation was $24. It did not say how many unique contributors he had.

Bullock, the governor of Montana, who has made getting big money out of politics a major theme of his campaign, raised far less than the fundraising leader, Bernie Sanders, who brought in $25.3 million, or author and political novice Marianne Williamson, who took in $3.1 million.

The Bullock campaign said it would apply to the Federal Election Commission for taxpayer-financed matching funds, which would add up to $250 for each contributor’s aggregate donation. In exchange, the campaign will be limited to how much it can spend in the primaries – set at $48 million in 2016. That application will require approval from the FEC, which doesn’t have a quorum of four commissioners to make decisions.

Bullock currently polls at less than 1% in the RealClearPolitics average. He didn’t qualify for the Democratic debate in September or for the next one, in Ohio on Oct.15. – Bill Allison

Biden says son Hunter may join him on trail

Joe Biden said his son Hunter would join him on the campaign trail, despite attacks from Donald Trump over his business dealings in Ukraine, but equivocated on where or when.

In an interview with the Reno Gazette Journal on Thursday, Biden was asked whether Hunter would campaign with him.

“Yes,” he answered. But when pressed, Biden said that Hunter Biden lives in the West, and that they hadn’t worked out any specifics.

Trump has accused Biden and his son of “corruption” over Hunter’s involvement with a Ukrainian energy company. House Democrats have begun an impeachment inquiry to determine whether Trump acted improperly by asking the Ukrainian president to investigate the Bidens in exchange for U.S. weapons. There is no evidence either Biden or his son committed any wrongdoing.

Hunter Biden has not made any appearances with his father during the campaign to date. When asked why Hunter would be an asset, he replied: “Because he’s my son,” he said. “He’s a fine young man.” – Max Berley

Warren tries again with corporate legislation

Elizabeth Warren reintroduced her Accountable Capitalism Act on Friday, a measure that would require companies to allow employees to select at least 40% of a corporation’s board of directors.

The legislation, introduced with Representative Ben Ray Lujan, Democrat of New Mexico, stands no chance of progress while Republicans control the White House and Senate, and her earlier effort didn’t succeed. It would change the way large corporations operate, in keeping with Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign pitch to regulate business and tackle inequality.

Warren accompanied the announcement with letters to the CEOs of multiple companies – including Inc., General Motors Co., Walmart Inc., United Airlines Holdings Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., BP PLC, AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp., Cigna Corp., and Union Pacific Corp. – asking what they intend to do to serve their workers. – Sahil Kapur

Williamson Raises $3 Million in Third Quarter

Marianne Williamson raised $3.1 million for her long-shot presidential campaign, roughly doubling the amount she collected in the previous period.

She ended the quarter with $655,276 cash on hand, and has 140,000 unique contributors since starting her campaign, according to a statement released by her campaign manager, Patricia Ewing.

“It’s the American people who decide which candidates have a voice that needs to be heard, not the gatekeepers,” Ewing said.

Williamson failed to meet the fundraising and polling requirements to participate in the debate of Democratic candidates last month and didn’t qualify for the next forum on Oct. 15 in Ohio.

Williamson, who’s polling at less than 1% in the RealClearPolitics average, lags far behind top fundraisers like Bernie Sanders, who brought in $25.3 million, and Pete Buttigieg, who raised $19.1 million. Candidates must officially report third-quarter totals to the Federal Election Commission on Oct. 15. – Bill Allison

Coming up

Democratic candidates will attend a presidential forum hosted by the 2 million member Service Employees International Union in Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday. So far, Cory Booker, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Julian Castro are set to attend.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union will host forums in Iowa with Democratic presidential candidates on Oct. 13. Biden, Booker, Harris, and Buttigieg and Michael Bennet have confirmed they will be there.

With assistance from Bill Allison, Jordan Fabian and Emma Kinery.