The media has had a field day over new hearsay accusations that President Trump was wrong to ask Ukranian leaders to investigate political corruption related to Joe Biden. Predictably, several House Democrats have used this news cycle to again demand Trump’s impeachment.
While the whistleblower complaint is based on hearsay, we do know that Joe Biden, while serving as vice president, pressured the Ukrainian government to fire the prosecutor who was investigating his son’s company. Hunter Biden joined the board of Ukrainian national gas company Burisma in 2014 while his father was managing the United States’ Ukraine policy and despite zero personal experience in the field. At the time Hunter Biden joined its board, Burisma was embroiled in allegations of corruption, allegations serious enough that Ukraine’s prosecutor general launched an investigation into the company.
Joe Biden was so proud of his role in the prosecutor’s removal from investigating the company paying his son $50,000 per month merely to serve on its board that he actually bragged about it in a 2018 speech at an event for the publication Foreign Affairs. In this speech, Biden boasts his threat to withhold $1 billion in U.S. loans from Ukraine if they did not agree to fire the prosecutor who happened to be investigating the company giving his son a cushy sinecure.
The prosecutor was fired, and the investigation was dropped six months later. While the investigation was just reopened last year, it has been a slow-moving process that has turned up little. At the time Biden pushed for the firing of Viktor Shokin, the prosecutor general, Shokin had plans to question Hunter Biden.
Watch Biden brag about his role in having the prosecutor fired below:
The relevant portion of the speech is transcribed below.
I remember going over and convincing our team, others, to convince that we should be providing for loan guarantees. And I went over, I guess, the 12th, 13th time to Kiev. And I was supposed to announce that there was another billion-dollar loan guarantee. And I had gotten a commitment from Poroshenko and from Yatsenyuk that they would take action against the state prosecutor. And they didn’t.
So they said they had—they were walking out to a press conference. I said, nah, I’m not going to—or, we’re not going to give you the billion dollars. They said, you have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said—I said, call him. (Laughter.) I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money. Well, son of a b-tch. (Laughter.) He got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.