Ukraine Launches Criminal Investigation into Joe Biden
Ukrainian government investigating firing of Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin
Ukraine has launched an official criminal investigation into Joe Biden over allegations the former vice president forced the Ukrainian government to fire their Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin to protect his son, Hunter Biden's company, according to reports.
Democratic presidential candidate Biden has previously admitted he pressured authorities to force the resignation of Shokin while he was VP.
Biden boasted that he withheld $1 billion in US aid from Ukraine to force the eastern European country to fire Shokin - who the then-vice presdient claims was "corrupt."
It later emerged, however, that Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings for corruption and Hunter Biden was a member of the board there.
Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigations opened the case under an appeal by Shokin, the Interfax-Ukraine news agency reported, quoting Shokin's lawyer.
During a February 27 press conference, Shokin's lawyer, Oleksandr Teleshetsky, revealed that the charge against Biden is interfering in the work of an official of a law enforcement agency.
Shokin included Biden's name in his motion, which prompted the opening of the case, Interfax said, according to WND.
But the investigation itself mentions only a "U.S. citizen."
The lawyer said the SBI is also handling criminal cases opened in response to Shokin's motion on charges of disclosing pretrial probe secrets to employees of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.
He explained that Biden is their suspect in three different criminal offenses, which have been merged into one case.
Teleshetsky said he's asking the Prosecutor General's Office to seek the assistance of the U.S. in the investigation.
"We'll definitely do this," he said.
"This is one of the priorities in this criminal investigation because this case can't be investigated without involving mechanisms of international legal cooperation.
"Judging by remarks Biden allowed himself to make in public, Viktor Mykolayovych Shokin has sufficient grounds to believe that it was [Biden] who masterminded and, to a certain extent, perpetrated those criminal offenses to which Shokin alerted the law enforcement agencies of Ukraine," the lawyer said.
Teleshetsky noted that Greek law enforcement agencies are investigating Shokin's mercury poisoning in 2019.
He said Shokin links the incident to Biden.
"The results of this investigation are not yet available today," he said.
"We don't have sufficient grounds to ... file motions and requests with the law enforcement agencies of Greece before they establish the objective truth in all circumstances.
"Possibly, they will appear tomorrow or the day after tomorrow."
Hunter Biden's receipt of more than $3 million from the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings while his father oversaw a U.S. effort to address corruption in Ukraine was a subject of the July 25 phone call at the center of the articles of impeachment against President Trump.
Trump mentioned to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky in the call that Joe Biden openly boasted of threatening to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Ukraine if then-Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko did not fire the country's general prosecutor, who was investigating Burisma at the time.
See Joe Biden's boast of a quid pro quo with Ukraine during a panel at a Council on Foreign Relations event:
Democrats contend Trump's request that Zelensky assist Attorney General William Barr in looking into potential corruption in Hunter Biden's position amounts to digging up dirt on a political rival, insisting there was "no basis" for any investigation.
But the White House presented evidence in the Senate impeachment trial to bolster its argument that it was a legitimate matter of public interest.
The president's lawyers argued, for one, that two witnesses called by the House Democrats testified that the Obama State Department expressed concern that the Biden arrangement was a conflict of interest.
According to State Department documents, Burisma invoked Hunter Biden's name when it pressed the Obama State Department to end a corruption investigation into the company.
See White House defense lawyer Pam Bondi present details of the Hunter Biden-Ukraine connection:
Peter Schweizer, who exposed the Hunter Biden-Ukraine deal in his 2018 book "Secret Empires," said in an interview with SiriusXMs Breitbart News Daily that the key to understanding the matter is the timing.
"The timing is clear: February of 2014, Putin moves into Crimea, that creates this whole crisis," he said.
"In March of 2014, Joe is point person on Ukraine policy. Within three weeks, Ukrainians suddenly decide, 'Hey Hunter Biden is the guy, the expert, we want to join this company. And yeah, we need to pay him a million dollars a year.'
"You look at that and think, 'This is absurd.' ... It's not like he was advising Ukraine in 2005," said Schweizer.
His new book, "Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite," presents evidence that five members of Biden's family profited from his position as vice president of the United States.
Schweizer also recalled that when the Obama administration "pivoted" its foreign policy to Asia, Hunter Biden accompanied his father on a trip to Beijing on Air Force Two.
"Joe goes over there on one of his first significant trips, and what does he do? His son comes with him, and 10 days after the trip, the son suddenly announces this billon-and-a-half-dollar private equity deal," Schweizer said.
"It’s clear, it's crystal clear what's going on."