Former Vice President Joe Biden is now the subject of an investigation in Ukraine for his role in pressuring Ukrainian officials to fire then-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in 2016, the Washington Post reports. The investigation was launched following a court order.
“They need to investigate this. They have no other alternative,” Oleksandr Teleshetsky, Shokin’s attorney, told the Washington Post. “They are required to do this by the decision of the court. If they don’t, then they violate a whole string of procedural norms.”
Shokin had filed a complaint with Ukraine’s National Bureau of Investigation last month demanding an investigation be launched against Joe Biden for his role in pressuring the Ukrainian government to fire him and protect Burisma Holdings, the company on whose board his son Hunter sat, making $83,000/month, despite having no experience related to their business. Shokin alleged in his filing that Biden orchestrated his ouster as prosecutor general in order to prevent the completion of his investigation of the notoriously corrupt natural gas company, Burisma Holdings. Despite allegations to the contrary, Shokin contends the investigation was “carried out in strict accordance with Criminal Law” and under his “personal control as the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.”
Shokin claimed that after he was fired “no active investigation into the offenses concerning the company ‘Burisma Holding Limited’ (Cyprus) was carried out and, therefore, the persons implicated in these offenses were not identified, nor arrested or charged.” It is his contention that because of Biden, Burisma and his son Hunter were off the hook.
Joe Biden infamously bragged about his role in Shokin’s firing during the Council on Foreign Relations meeting in Washington, D.C. in January 2018, explaining how he threatened to withhold that $1 billion loan to Ukraine unless it fired Shokin.
“I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee,” Biden explained. “And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t. So they said they had — they were walking out to a press conference. I said, ‘Nah, I’m not going to — or, 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 bitch. He got fired,” Biden said.
The Washington Post played defense for Joe Biden, claiming that his actions were simply carrying out the policy of the Obama administration, but, as PJM has previously reported, even if you ignore the personal conflict of interest that Joe Biden had, the withholding of aid still violated U.S. law.
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