Shokin Demands Criminal Probe Of Joe Biden In Declaration To Kyiv Prosecutors

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden makes a statement on Ukraine corruption during a press conference on September 24, 2019, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images)
|
January 29, 2020 12:30 p.m.

Discredited Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin demanded in a Tuesday affidavit that Kyiv prosecutors open a criminal investigation into Joe Biden.

Shokin repeated long-debunked allegations in the declaration, accusing Biden of “blackmail” and violating international law in pushing for Shokin to be fired in 2016.

The filing marks the latest attempt to have Ukraine open a criminal investigation into a potential opponent of President Trump’s in the 2020 election. It comes as the Senate holds an impeachment trial of President Trump over allegations that he attempted to have Ukraine announce investigations into the Bidens and the 2016 elections.

Shokin has popped up throughout the pressure campaign on Ukraine as a source of debunked information for President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani, alleging that Joe Biden fired Shokin to block an investigation he was conducting into a Ukrainian gas firm on whose board Hunter Biden — the Vice President’s son — sat.

But the facts tell a different story.

Shokin left his post as Ukraine’s top prosecutor amid outcry both within Ukraine and abroad over his lack of progress in investigating corruption cases. One case that Shokin failed to investigate that led to particularly acute criticism — even from the then-U.S. ambassador — was that of Burisma, a gas company whose owner was accused of stealing government funds.

The owner fled Ukraine after the country’s 2014 revolution, and Burisma hired a slew of well-connected foreigners to join its board, including former Polish President Aleksandr Kwasniewski and Hunter Biden.

Shokin was criticized for not investigating corruption at Burisma and, under pressure from Ukraine’s international backers including Joe Biden, was fired in March 2016.

But in the Tuesday affidavit, filed with Ukraine’s State Bureau of Investigations, Shokin describes himself as a “victim.”

He said that he only resigned “as a result of lengthy pressure on me from U.S. Vice President Joe Biden” which included “blackmail through providing financial guarantees” — a reference to a $1 billion loan guarantee that the U.S. partly conditioned on Ukraine intensifying its anti-corruption efforts, including by firing Shokin.

“As a person who puts the interests of his country above his own, I agreed to step down from the post of general prosecutor of Ukraine,” Shokin added.

Giuliani interviewed Shokin in January 2019, and spoke with the former prosecutor general on camera as part of a One America News TV show which told the story that investigations demanded by Giuliani and Trump aimed to support.

Shokin described his own conduct in the declaration as having a “principled position” towards bringing the Burisma case to a “quick and objective” resolution. Because of that, he claimed, “Joseph Biden began to have persistent, unpleasant relations towards me,” resulting in both private and public statements demanding Shokin’s firing “in exchange for” a $1 billion loan guarantee.

Shokin went on in the declaration to say that “the illicit influence of Joseph Biden” was evidence of “interfering in the activities of a law enforcement officer.”

Shokin demanded that Ukrainian prosecutors open a criminal investigation based off of his declaration.

A Ukrainian-language version of the filing is available here:

Introducing
The TPM Journalism Fund: A New Way To Support TPM
We're launching the TPM Journalism Fund as an additional way for readers and members to support TPM. Every dollar contributed goes toward:
  • -Hiring More Journalists
  • -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
  • -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism
Are you experiencing financial hardship?
Apply for a free community-supported membership
Comments
advertisement
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer:
SPECIAL DEAL FOR PAST TPM MEMBERS
40% OFF AN ANNUAL PRIME MEMBERSHIP
REJOIN FOR JUST $30