A Ukrainian lawmaker has released audio recordings of private phone calls between former Vice President Joe Biden and former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in which Biden congratulated Poroshenko for firing Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin.
“Congratulations on getting the new prosecutor general. I know there is a lot more that has to be done, but I really, I really think that’s good,” Biden said in the audio recording from May 13, 2016.
He added that “it’s going to be critical for him to work quickly to repair the damage Shokin did.”
“And I’m a man of my word. And now that the new prosecutor general is in place, we’re ready to move forward in signing that new $1 billion loan guarantee,” Biden said.
Poroshenko said he wanted to thank Biden for securing the loan.
“I want to thank you that you give me your word that immediately when we change the legislation and I appoint the new prosecutor general, and it would be Yuriy Lutsenko as we agreed on our previous meeting in Washington and when it happen, we can have this loan guarantee,” Poroshenko said.
Ukrainian lawmaker Andriy Derkach said at a Tuesday media conference in Kyiv he had received the tapes that were reportedly made by Poroshenko from investigative journalists, The Washington Post reported.
Donald Trump Jr. responded to the audio recording on Twitter.
“Yikes!!!! This is not a ‘perfect conversation,'” Trump Jr. tweeted.
Yikes!!!! This is not a “perfect conversation”
An audio recording of a conversation between Joe Biden and Petro Poroshenko on May 13, 2016 – YouTube https://t.co/7R2YxzDpGM
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 19, 2020
Shokin’s dismissal is at the heart of claims by President Donald Trump that Biden acted inappropriately in calling for the ouster of Shokin, who had investigated a Ukrainian energy company called Burisma on whose board Biden’s son Hunter served.
Trump raised the issue during a July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The conversation between the two leaders in which Trump urged an investigation into corruption triggered an impeachment inquiry that eventually resulted in Trump being acquitted of two articles brought against him by House Democrats.
Biden’s presidential campaign viewed the release of the tapes as a Russian effort to hurt the former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.
“They heavily edited this, and it’s still a nothingburger that landed with a thud,” Biden spokesman Andrew Bates told The Post.
Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, met with Derkach during a December trip to Kyiv.
Giuliani did not answer if he knew about the recordings, but told The Post that this was “just the tip of iceberg.”
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