Ukraine Investigates, Joe Biden

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Former Vice President Joe Biden is officially under examination for his role in the firing of former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. This motion – potentially harming to Biden’s current presidential bid – emerges not from a “perfect phone call” with President Trump, but rather by a court order. Shokin’s lawyer, Oleksandr Teleshetsky, asserted that after the latest ruling, Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) is obligated to begin with digging:

“They need to investigate this. They have no other alternative. They are required to do this by the decision of the court. If they don’t, then they violate a whole string of procedural norms.”

Despite identifying Joe Biden in court, the primary paperwork from the SBI actually only mentions a “U.S. citizen.” Are warm and friendly forces in Ukraine already running cover for the presidential hopeful?

Worthy Of Investigation? Viktor Shokin was fired on account of stress from Joe Biden, as Biden himself mentioned openly at a 2018 Council of Foreign Relations (CFR) event. Shokin had been looking into Burisma Holdings, the business in which the previous vice president’s son, Hunter Biden, worked and was compensated a handsome $80K per month. It is certainly a source of speculation why somebody so uniquely unqualified would be the recipient of such largesse.

As Biden related to his CFR audience:

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving herein, 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****, he got fired … And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”

Cause For Concern?

While headlines of this inspection may affect Biden’s opportunities in the impending primaries, there are several in Ukraine who look keen to downplay the importance of the conditions. The director of Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Action Center, Daria Kaleniuk, went to great lengths to require that while there is an examination, it doesn’t really mean that the claim of corruption is legitimate. She says:

“The fact that it was opened after a decision of the court indicates that first, the SBI didn’t open this case, but the attorneys of Shokin made the SBI open this case … Let’s say I can write a claim to the SBI that I think aliens stole my car. And the SBI obviously will not open [a case] as there is no evidence of a crime. But then I can go to court and make the SBI open it through a court decision. So this case looks to me like that.”

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