It has long been known that Joe Biden admitted to the quid pro quo already, we have video evidence of him bragging about it, but newly leaked audio posted to YouTube tells us that Biden pushed for the ouster of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Shokin, despite there being no evidence of wrongdoing against him.
“Yesterday I met with the General Prosecutor, Shokin,” then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko is heard saying on the call.
“Yes,” Biden acknowledged.
Poroshenko continued, “And despite the fact that we did not have any corruption charges, we don’t have any information about him doing something wrong… I special asked him to resign…”
Poroshenko then explained that despite the fact Shokin had the support of parliament, that he was able to get Shokin to give a statement of resignation, which he provided to Poroshenko an hour later.
“Great,” Biden said.
“This is my second step of keeping my promises,” said Poroshenko.
“I agree,” Biden replied.
Biden has said he was simply carrying out the “official policy” of the Obama administration to root out corruption in Ukraine. “It was a fully transparent policy carried out in front of the whole world and fully, fully embraced by the international community of democracies.” But, that explanation is undermined by this recording since then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko admitted in the phone call that they had nothing on Shokin in terms of corruption.
Shokin’s only crime seems to be that he was investigating Burisma Holdings, where Joe’s son Hunter Biden, served on the board, reportedly making over $80,000 a month. Shokin has previously claimed that Poroshenko told him not to investigate Burisma because it was not in the best interests of Joe and/or Hunter Biden. According to Rudy Giuliani’s notes of his meeting with Shokin, “Mr. Shokin was called into Mr. Poroshenko’s office and told that the investigation into Burisma and the Managing Director where Hunter Biden is on the board, has caused Joe Biden to hold up one billion dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine.”
In a separate call, Biden can be heard congratulating the then-Ukrainian president for installing a new prosecutor general and then explaining to him that the billion-dollar loan can move forward.
“And I’m a man of my word,” Biden said. “And now that the new Prosecutor General is in place, we’re ready to move forward to signing that one billion dollar loan guarantee.”
The leaked audio was posted to YouTube on Tuesday, but the authenticity of the recordings hasn’t been verified.
According to Shokin, 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.
This leaked audio raises significant questions. Biden has insisted that the ouster of Shokin was simply him carrying out official policy of the Obama administration to root out corruption in Ukraine. Shokin, this audio proves, had no allegations of corruption him, and had the confidence of the Ukrainian parliament. If rooting out corruption was Obama policy, but Shokin was admittedly not corrupt, was Biden acting alone in making the firing of Shokin a condition of the billion-dollar loan, and not acting under the authority of Barack Obama?
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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