Barack Obama was curiously silent last year when Joe Biden started feeling the heat over his and his son’s corrupt connections to Ukraine. Obama wished to be publicly neutral during the 2020 primary, but the quid pro quo allegation that Joe Biden withheld aid in exchange for the firing of the prosecutor investigating Burisma Holdings where his son sat on the board wasn’t just a Biden scandal, it was an Obama administration scandal. If everything had been legal and proper, Obama himself could have easily contradicted allegations of impropriety.
But on Tuesday, news surfaced that back in March, Barack Obama’s office privately condemned a congressional investigation into the Bidens’ actions in Ukraine. The letter called the investigation an effort “to give credence to a Russian disinformation campaign” and attempt “to shift the blame for Russian interference in the 2016 election to Ukraine.”
This argument is a total red herring. Joe Biden admitted a quid pro quo. We have video evidence of Joe Biden bragging about his role in the firing of Ukraine Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin back in 2016. Shokin was investigating corruption at Burisma Holdings. Biden told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko he would withhold a $1 billion loan unless Poroshenko fired Shokin, and Biden implicated Barack Obama in the quid pro quo scandal when his authority was questioned.
“They were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, … we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, ‘You have no authority. You’re not the president—the president said’ … I said, ‘Call him.’ I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars.’ I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ … I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a b—-. He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Biden was so sure that he could withhold the billion-dollar loan despite Obama’s assurance to Ukraine the loan was a done deal. Biden knew he could withhold the billion dollars because obviously Barack Obama knew, which means Barack Obama had, at some point, approved the quid pro quo to protect Biden’s son.
Joe Biden brags about how he threatened to pull $1 billion in loan guarantees from Ukraine if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
The prosecutor, who was fired, was leading a corruption investigation into a company that employed Biden's son, Hunter pic.twitter.com/xZd3vIMbuL
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 20, 2019
None of the allegations made against Biden are contradicted or even addressed in the letter. The letter only discussed access to presidential records. Why didn’t the letter contradict reports that there was a quid pro quo? The answer to that is obvious. If Obama made any statement acknowledging his involvement in the withholding of aid, he would publicly implicate himself in a situation that, based on Biden’s story, was an abuse of power and a quid pro quo. And allegations of a quid pro quo with Ukraine just so happens to be what Democrats impeached President Trump over.
You can read the entire letter here.
Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis