House Oversight Committee Seeks Records Related to Joe Biden’s Actions on Ukrainian Prosecutor

The House Oversight Committee has initiated an investigation into the actions of then-Vice President Joe Biden, focusing on his alleged involvement in pressuring Ukraine to dismiss Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the Ukrainian energy firm employing Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. The committee has requested records to shed light on these events.

In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the committee seeks information about the State Department’s changing perception of Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in late 2015. During this period, Joe Biden reportedly threatened to withhold a $1 billion loan from Ukraine unless they dismissed the prosecutor. It’s worth noting that at the time, Hunter Biden was earning over $80,000 per month as a board member of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma, according to bank records released by House Oversight in August.

The letter from the House Oversight Committee reads, “The Committee seeks to understand the State Department’s sudden change in disposition towards the Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General in late 2015.”

The letter further details the circumstances surrounding Shokin’s removal, stating, “By late 2015, however, the removal of Prosecutor General Shokin became a condition of the loan guarantee by the United States. In March 2016, Shokin was dismissed from his position by the Ukrainian Rada after months of public pressure most adamantly applied by then-Vice President Biden.”

The committee cites a June 2015 letter from State Department official Victoria Nuland to Shokin’s office, commending his anti-corruption efforts and pledging U.S. resources to assist him. Additionally, it references remarks made by then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in September 2015, praising Shokin’s efforts in combating corruption. The committee also mentions a memo from the Interagency Policy Committee, highlighting Shokin’s progress against corruption as a basis for Ukraine receiving a $1 billion loan.

The letter specifically requests records of phone calls made by Joe Biden to Ukrainian officials from January 2014 to December 2016 and communications between the State Department and then-Vice President Biden’s office related to Ukraine, Burisma, Shokin, Hunter Biden, and his associates.

Furthermore, the committee demands communications between State Department employees and Blue Star Strategies, a lobbying firm recommended to Burisma by Hunter Biden. The firm had multiple meetings with State Department officials on behalf of Mykola Zlochevsky, the founder of Burisma, according to its Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) disclosure from May 2022. Internal State Department emails also suggest that Blue Star Strategies worked with the State Department on behalf of the Ukrainian prosecutor who replaced Shokin and cleared Burisma of charges.

The House Oversight Committee is additionally seeking communications among a list of State Department officials concerning Hunter Biden and his associates, as well as communications related to the $1 billion loan guarantee.

The investigation revisits events in December 2015 when Joe Biden visited Ukraine to deliver a speech urging the Ukrainian parliament to continue its fight against corruption. This visit coincided with Hunter Biden’s communication with Zlochevsky and Burisma executive Vadim Pozharskyi, which was disclosed in July by former Burisma board member and Hunter Biden associate Devon Archer during a House Oversight hearing.

The letter also mentions that Hunter Biden’s business associate Eric Schwerin was working with Joe Biden’s office to address media inquiries about Hunter Biden and Burisma on the same day Hunter made the phone call. Additionally, then-Vice President Biden’s office sent talking points to the State Department in early 2016, urging them not to single out Zlochevsky by name in their statements.

The removal of Prosecutor General Shokin reportedly followed a raid on Zlochevsky’s property in February 2016 as part of an investigation into Burisma. Shokin submitted his resignation letter to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in February 2016, shortly after Poroshenko’s phone call with Joe Biden, as indicated in White House archives. Shokin was officially removed from his position by the Ukrainian parliament in late March 2016.

The investigation into these events and their implications has attracted significant attention, with questions raised about potential conflicts of interest and allegations of corruption. Joe Biden and his associates have denied any wrongdoing, while some individuals involved in the investigation have maintained that their actions were driven by legitimate concerns about corruption in Ukraine.

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