Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
It’s been a long time coming but it looks like Ukraine is finally investigating former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden over his pressuring Ukrainians officials to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin in 2016.
Multiple sources confirmed the probe and the Washington Post confirmed it with Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations.
Shokin has been pushing for an investigation for some time, alleging that he was fired because of pressure from Biden and because Shokin was trying to investigate Burisma, the company that Hunter Biden, Joe Biden’s. son, was on the board of at the time.
Shokin’s attorney, Oleksandr Teleshetsky, told The Washington Post, that Shokin had made an appeal for the investigation and that it was required in response to a court order. “If they don’t, then they violate a whole string of procedural norms.”
The issue exploded after a video of Joe Biden, at a Council on Foreign Relations event in 2018, came out in admitting that he pressured Ukraine over the prosecutor, including the “quid pro quo” of threatening to hold back one billion in loan guarantees.
From Fox News:
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” Biden says in the video, referring to a conversation with then-Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko.
“Well, son of a b—-, he got fired,” Biden adds. “And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Biden has argued that many people including the EU and the IMF wanted the prosecutor fired alleging he was corrupt and his campaign has argued that Burisma was not under investigation at the time.
While it might be true that folks wanted the prosecutor out, it was also true that Shokin appeared to be investigating Burisma at the time. According to the Kyiv Post, Shokin’s office raided the home of the founder of Burisma, Mykola Zlochevsky, on February 2, 2016. That news came out in the Kyiv Post on February 4. The prosecutor was then fired the following month, in March. The timing is, needless to say, interesting.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) outlined this timing in a letter he sent to the State Department asking for phone and other records that they might have on Joe Biden’s actions in regard to the incident.
Shokin has said under oath in an affidavit that he was fired by Poroshenko and it was because of Biden.
The question of whether the firing was proper or improper was what led ultimately to President Donald Trump getting impeached. During a conversation with Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump asked him to check and see if the matter had been properly closed.
There’s a lot talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you ·can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.
That’s it. That’s the thing that got Trump impeached, for daring to ask if the quid pro quo Joe Biden appeared to do was proper, not to “investigate the Bidens” as has generally been cast.
Trump was ultimately acquitted of the charges which had been brought by Democrats purely along party lines.
It should be noted that Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) came under fire for a secret meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif while at an overseas conference. But he also admitted that he met with Zelensky and warned him against getting involved in U.S. politics, as Murphy phrased it. Where’s the condemnation of Murphy for seemingly interfering in Ukraine and in the 2020 election with his actions?
Looks like the Ukrainians have to act according to their laws no matter what Democrats think or say.