WATCH: Joe Biden and his Ukraine Connection
Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing a controversy over allegations of inappropriately touching women.
But there’s another scandal brewing that’s been there under the radar for awhile and it may pose an even greater danger to the potential presidential candidate.
Last year during an event with the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden bragged on camera about how he got Ukraine’s top prosecutor fired in 2016 after talking with President Petro Poroshenko and threatening to pull the $1 billion U.S. loan to the country.
From Fox News:
“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,’” Biden said he told Poroshenko.
“Well, son of a b—-, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time,” Biden added.
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While the fired prosecutor was reportedly criticized back then by both Ukrainians and international officials for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions, the prosecutor also worked on a corruption probe that implicated the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, a company that employed Biden’s younger son, Hunter, as a board member, The Hill reported.
Shokin told The Hill that he had made “specific plans” for the probe, including “interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.”
The probe was stopped after the prosecutor was fired and no charges were then brought against anyone. Shokin said everyone was entitled to the presumption of innocence and he wasn’t at liberty to describe the evidence any further.
But after the remarks by Biden last year, which obviously raised eyebrows, the General Prosecutor, Yuriy Lutsenko reopened the case and said the evidence may be of interest to U.S. authorities.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Biden had correlated and connected this aid with some of the HR (personnel) issues and changes in the prosecutor’s office,” Lutsenko told The Hill.
While Biden was the point man on the Ukraine for the Obama administration, a lot of money poured into Burisma and then ultimately to Hunter Biden.
From The Hill:
Between April 2014 and October 2015, more than $3 million was paid out of Burisma accounts to an account linked to Biden’s and Archer’s Rosemont Seneca firm, according to the financial records placed in a federal court file in Manhattan in an unrelated case against Archer.
The bank records show that, on most months when Burisma money flowed, two wire transfers of $83,333.33 each were sent to the Rosemont Seneca–connected account on the same day. The same Rosemont Seneca–linked account typically then would pay Hunter Biden one or more payments ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 each. Prosecutors reviewed internal company documents and wanted to interview Hunter Biden and Archer about why they had received such payments, according to interviews.
Lutsenko said Ukrainian company board members legally can pay themselves for work they do if it benefits the company’s bottom line, but prosecutors never got to determine the merits of the payments to Rosemont because of the way the investigation was shut down.
As for Joe Biden’s intervention in getting Lutsenko’s predecessor fired in the midst of the Burisma investigation, Lutsenko suggested that was a matter to discuss with Attorney General Barr: “Of course, I would be happy to have a conversation with him about this issue.”
Spokespeople for Biden have said in the past that he has no involvement with the company.
As John Solomon of The Hill notes, it raises several questions for Biden.
Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden’s firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?