It was revealed on Thursday that former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin once testified under oath that he was fired from his position at the behest of Vice President Joe Biden for investigating Burisma Holdings and the gas company’s relationship with Biden’s son, Hunter.
Journalist John Solomon at The Hill obtained a sworn affidavit containing Shokin’s witness statement that was prepared for European court. In the document, Shokin claims he was told that the reason he was fired was due to Biden’s objections to his investigation over Burisma.
“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.
Hunter Biden was getting paid $50,000 a month to serve on the board for Burisma, and his father has boasted publicly about strong-arming the Ukrainian government into firing the prosecutor by threatening to withhold $1 billion in aid.
The prosecutor, who was fired, was leading a corruption investigation into a company that employed Biden's son, Hunter pic.twitter.com/xZd3vIMbuL
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 20, 2019
Shokin’s testimony essentially validates Biden’s recollection of events.
“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 testified.
Solomon also pointed to documents he obtained from Burisma’s team of lawyers in America to back up Shokin’s testimony. The firm’s accounting records show that Burisma gave tens of thousands of dollars to Blue Star Strategies, a public relations and lobbying group that had Hunter Biden on its board.
Blue Star Strategies is run by former administration officials who served under President Bill Clinton, Karen Tramontano and Sally Painter. Painter had a meeting at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington D.C. where she lobbied to meet government officials in Ukraine.
“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,” Ukrainian embassy employee Oksana Shulyar wrote in an email to Painter following the meeting.
Ukraine’s Washington embassy denies that talk of the “reshuffle” had anything to do with Shokin’s firing. Blue Star also paid a Ukrainian official who they asked for help in scheduling meetings with Ukraine’s prosecutors about the Burisma investigation, according to memos obtained by Solomon.
Blue Star also worked with criminal defense attorney John Buretta. Buretta helped set up a meeting with interim prosecutor Yuriy Sevruk with Tramontano and Painter. The trio apologized for a disinformation campaign that was circulating about Shokin, presumably as apart of the campaign to get him fired.
“They realized that the information disseminated in the U.S. was incorrect and that they would facilitate my visit to the U.S. for the purpose of delivering the true information to the State Department management,” a memo about the meeting stated.
It appears there was much going on behind the scenes that led to Shokin’s dismissal, and Biden may have been helped by a crony network to impede justice and interfere in foreign politics to protect his son’s business interests.
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