Hundreds of documents obtained by The Hill's John Solomon contradict Joe Biden's claim that a Ukrainian prosecutor investigating his son's employer was corrupt and inept.
Biden infamously bragged about threatening to withhold $1 billion in US loan guarantees unless Ukraine's previous government immediately fired Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin - who was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings; a Ukrainian oil and gas firm which paid Hunter Biden $50,000 per month to sit on its board.
In a sworn affidavit, Shokin says "I was forced out because I was leading a wide-range corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine, and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, was a member of the board of directors."
And according to Solomon, "Hundreds of pages of never-released memos and documents — many from inside the American team helping Burisma to stave off its legal troubles — conflict with Biden’s narrative."
Moreover, US officials "may have painted a false picture in Ukraine that helped ease Burisma’s legal troubles and stop prosecutors’ plans to interview Hunter Biden during the 2016 U.S. presidential election."
For instance, Burisma’s American legal representatives met with Ukrainian officials just days after Biden forced the firing of the country’s chief prosecutor and offered “an apology for dissemination of false information by U.S. representatives and public figures” about the Ukrainian prosecutors, according to the Ukrainian government’s official memo of the meeting. The effort to secure that meeting began the same day the prosecutor's firing was announced.
In addition, Burisma’s American team offered to introduce Ukrainian prosecutors to Obama administration officials to make amends, according to that memo and the American legal team’s internal emails. -The Hill
Appearing on "Hannity" Thursday night, Solomon explained "These documents show, as I report tonight for the first time, that the very day that Joe Biden managed to get that Ukraine prosecutor fired, that very day his son’s company’s lawyers, the American company lawyers helping Burisma trying to fight this investigation were trying to urgently reach the new prosecutor, the replacement prosecutor."
"In that meeting, according to the official record from the prosecutor, the lawyers for Hunter Biden’s company stated to the replacement prosecutor, we know that the information calling Mr. Shokin was corrupt and was ‘False information distributed by U.S. Government officials and other figures. We would like to make this up to you by bringing you to Washington, you are not corrupt and you instigated numerous reforms.’ That is the official record of the meeting. Ukrainian prosecutors kept." (via the Daily Caller).
According to Solomon, the memos raise troubling questions (via The Hill):
- If the Ukraine prosecutor’s firing involved only his alleged corruption and ineptitude, why did Burisma's American legal team refer to those allegations as “false information?"
- If the firing had nothing to do with the Burisma case, as Biden has adamantly claimed, why would Burisma’s American lawyers contact the replacement prosecutor within hours of the termination and urgently seek a meeting in Ukraine to discuss the case?
What's more, Ukrainian prosecutors attempted to get this information to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) since last summer - first unsuccessfully engaging a US attorney in New York who they say showed no interest, and then reaching out to Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's attorney.
Meanwhile, the Bidens' adventures in Ukraine have been out there for nearly four years with virtually no MSM follow-up or scrutiny.
Biden has faced scrutiny since December 2015, when the New York Times published a story noting that Burisma hired Hunter Biden just weeks after the vice president was asked by President Obama to oversee U.S.-Ukraine relations. That story also alerted Biden’s office that Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin had an active investigation of Burisma and its founder.
Documents I obtained this year detail an effort to change the narrative after the Times story about Hunter Biden, with the help of the Obama State Department.
Hunter Biden’s American business partner in Burisma, Devon Archer, texted a colleague two days after the Times story about a strategy to counter the “new wave of scrutiny” and stated that he and Hunter Biden had just met at the State Department. The text suggested there was about to be a new “USAID project the embassy is announcing with us” and that it was “perfect for us to move forward now with momentum.” -The Hill
Shokin told Solomon that when he got fired, he was planning to question Hunter Biden about $3 million in fees that he and Archer collected from Burisma - which in some months totaled over $166,000 according to documents seized by the FBI.
Joe Biden, meanwhile, has been peddling the narrative that Shokin's March 2016 firing had nothing to do with Burisma - a narrative which Shokin himself disputes.
"The truth is that I was forced out because I was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into Burisma Holdings, a natural gas firm active in Ukraine and Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was a member of the Board of Directors," Shokin testified in the affidavit, adding "On several occasions President Poroshenko asked me to have a look at the case against Burisma and consider the possibility of winding down the investigative actions in respect of this company but I refused to close this investigation."
Shokin certainly would have reason to hold a grudge over his firing. But his account is supported by documents from Burisma’s legal team in America, which appeared to be moving into Ukraine with intensity as Biden’s effort to fire Shokin picked up steam.
Burisma’s own accounting records show that it paid tens of thousands of dollars while Hunter Biden served on the board of an American lobbying and public relations firm, Blue Star Strategies, run by Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano, who both served in President Bill Clinton’s administration.
Just days before Biden forced Shokin’s firing, Painter met with the No. 2 official at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington and asked to meet officials in Kiev around the same time that Joe Biden visited there. Ukrainian embassy employee Oksana Shulyar emailed Painter afterward: “With regards to the meetings in Kiev, I suggest that you wait until the next week when there is an expected vote of the government’s reshuffle.” -The Hill
Read the rest of Solomon's report here.