Republican Senators Call Meeting on Investigation into Hunter Biden’s Ukraine Firm
Sens Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley request meet with key State Department officials
Republican senators have requested a meeting with top State Department officials to discuss an investigation into Hunter Biden's former Ukraine energy firm, Burisma Holdings.
On Thursday, GOP Sens Ron Johnson and Chuck Grassley sent a request to the State Department asking to meet with key officials.
The letter, from Homeland Security Committee Chairman Johnson and Finance Committee Chairman Grassley, shows they are seeking interviews and documents specific to the dismissal of former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.
Shokin was fired by then-President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 after about a year in office.
According to Shokin, he was ousted because he wanted to investigate the lucrative role Hunter, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, held on Burisma's board between 2014 and 2019.
Hunter sat on the board, despite zero experience in the energy field, during the time his father oversaw US operations in Ukraine while in office as VP.
Johnson and Grassley, who sent their letter after the elder Biden became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, requested interviews with U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia Bridgett Brink and U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt, who used to be the ambassador to Ukraine, according to The Washington Examiner.
The senators also want to talk to Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George Kent and State Department official Elizabeth Zentos.
Zentos was detailed to the National Security Council and, in January 2016, participated in a meeting with Ukrainian and U.S. officials.
In November 2019, Johnson and Grassley sent a letter to the National Archives requesting documents from that meeting.
Kent testified before the House Impeachment Committee in November during the Ukraine-related impeachment investigation against President Trump, saying he clashed with a State Department attorney over how to comply with congressional subpoenas.
“Former Vice President Biden previously expressed that he wanted Prosecutor General Viktor Shakin fired,” Johnson and Grassley wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
"When did the United States government determine that Shokin should be removed?
“Please explain the justification for that decision and how and when that determination was communicated to the Ukrainian government.”
The senators also asked for records, including call transcripts and summaries, related to then-Vice President Biden's phone calls with Poroshenko from March 2015 through April 2016.
They asked for all the materials and the interviews no later than May 14.
In February, Ukraine investigators opened an investigation into the elder Biden over claims he urged officials into firing Shokin in 2016.
Joe Biden threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees if Ukraine did not fire its top prosecutor, who was criticized by the West for not doing enough to crackdown on corruption.
The European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and other allies had the same objective, and Biden was repeating U.S. policy that had been set out by Washington’s ambassador to Kyiv in the preceding months and was briefed by White House staff just ahead of the trip.
Trump, his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and other allies also claim Biden improperly used his position as vice president to pressure Ukraine to fire Shokin to protect his son from an investigation into Burisma.
Joe Biden has said there is no "credibility" to the claims of corruption.