The State Department’s inspector general confirmed in documents turned over to Congress on Wednesday that Joe Biden’s activities in Ukraine were part of an ongoing investigation by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani three months before Biden officially declared his 2020 presidential candidacy — more evidence this wasn’t a new matter or one that was touched off by President Donald Trump’s July call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
According to Fox News, the investigation can trace its genesis to at least the first weeks of 2019, when the prosecutor who was fired in 2016 under pressure from then-Vice President Biden talked with Giuliani.
During the interview, Fox News reported, former Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin said “that he was told to back off an investigation involving a natural gas firm that was linked to Joe Biden’s son.”
In the interview, Shokin said his “investigations stopped out of fear of the United States.”
“Mr. Shokin attempted to continue the investigations but on or around June or July of 2015, the U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey R. Pyatt told him that the investigation has to be handled with white gloves, which according to Mr. Shokin, that implied do nothing,” notes from the interview read.
The notes also said Shokin had been informed Biden had withheld aid due to the investigation.
Whether or not Shokin can be believed is a matter of some question.
The Ukrainian prosecutor was allegedly fired because he was inept and corrupt, a view which was apparently shared by Western powers. However, documents uncovered recently by investigative reporter John Solomon seem to contradict this.
Solomon’s investigation also found that one of the widely held truths surrounding the Biden investigation — that Shokin’s investigations of Burisma were all closed by the time he was fired — might not be true.
“Some media outlets have reported that, at the time Joe Biden forced the firing in March 2016, there were no open investigations. Those reports are wrong,” Solomon wrote in The Hill last week.
“A British-based investigation of Burisma’s owner was closed down in early 2015 on a technicality when a deadline for documents was not met. But the Ukraine Prosecutor General’s office still had two open inquiries in March 2016, according to the official case file provided me.”
“One of those cases involved taxes; the other, allegations of corruption. Burisma announced the cases against it were not closed and settled until January 2017.”
While The Wall Street Journal reported that the inquiry was closed, Fox News said Shokin “was investigating Mykola Zlochevsky, the former minister of ecology and natural resources of Ukraine — also the founder of Burisma.”
Fox added that “Hunter Biden was appointed to the board of the firm, which Shokin claimed was an appointment made by Zlochevsky ‘in order to protect himself.'”
Furthermore, Giuliani said the allegations were brought to his attention before Biden’s presidential run was announced and he had a duty to investigate.
“I explored them as part of my duty as an attorney to show that the crimes committed, were not by my client, but by Democrats. I was not seeking to investigate Joe Biden. I was not investigating Joe Biden,” Giuliani told Fox.
Even if Biden had been an announced candidate at the time, that doesn’t mean he’s above an investigation.
If that were the case, what was 2016 about?
There are almost no situations completely analogous to this one, but there was a) clearly corruption in the Ukraine that b) also potentially involved Americans and c) may have involved Hunter Biden’s company, Burisma.
Beyond that, there’s the conflict of interest inherent in Joe Biden pressuring Ukraine to fire the prosecutor that either had investigated his son’s company or was still investigating his son’s company.
When there’s an allegation of outside pressure from the fired prosecutor because of Burisma, that clearly means an investigation was warranted.
This wasn’t just a fishing expedition. This wasn’t just a phone call to the Ukrainian president and it certainly wasn’t a quid pro quo involving funding.
This was an ongoing investigation that needed to be carried out. Period.
That fact alone should be devastating to the impeachment investigation — and there’s plenty more where that came from.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.