Evidence undercuts Democrats' Ukraine impeachment story

President Joe Biden talks on the phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in the Treaty Room of the White House. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)
President Joe Biden talks on the phone with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, in the Treaty Room of the White House. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)

Back when Joe Biden was vice president for Barack Obama, and handling Ukraine policy for America, he returned from a trip there to boast about how he had gotten a government prosecutor fired.

The prosecutor was Victor Shokin, and he had been looking into claims against the gas company, Burisma, which at the time was paying Biden’s son, Hunter, tens of thousands of dollars a month to be on its board, even though he had no experience in the industry.

That wasn’t acceptable, Biden decided, and he threatened Ukraine with the loss of $1 billion in American aid if officials didn’t remove Shokin.

The issue appeared again later, during the Democrats’ first failed impeach-and-remove campaign against President Donald Trump.

House Democrats alleged that Shokin was fired in March 2016 because State Department officials were unhappy with his anti-corruption campaign – but not because he was investigating Burisma.

However, a new report from Just the News does much to dash that idea.

It’s because just months before Joe Biden forced the firing, “Ukraine’s chief prosecutor was told by U.S. State Department officials that they were ‘impressed’ with his anti-corruption plan and fully supportive of his work.”

Just the News documents that’s from released memos that shed light – and cast doubt – on the story line that Democrat delivered in their failed impeach-and-remove effort.

“The memos obtained by Just the News and the Southeastern Legal Foundation under a Freedom of Information Act request show senior State Department officials — including then-Secretary of State John Kerry — were sending the opposite message to Shokin the summer before his firing,” the report said.

“We have been impressed with the ambitious reform and anti-corruption agenda of your government,” was the message from Victoria Nuland, then an assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

Nuland now is Joe Biden’s undersecretary of State.

She wrote back then, “Secretary Kerry asked me to reply on his behalf” to inform Shokin he had the full support of the U.S. while fighting corruption.

“The ongoing reform of your office, law enforcement, and the judiciary will enable you to investigate and prosecute corruption and other crimes in an effective, fair, and transparent manner,” Nuland praised. “The United States fully supports your government’s efforts to fight corruption and other crimes in an effective, fair and transparent manner.”

The report explained that letter was sent only months before Joe Biden launched his attack on Shokin, demanding he be removed.

The Senate, too, never saw the information during the failed impeachment campaign.

“We did not receive this,” Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., told Just the News. “He should have received it. President Trump’s defense attorneys also should have received it.”

He led an investigation in 2020 into Hunter and Joe Biden’s business dealings.

Hunter Biden (ABC News video screenshot)
Hunter Biden (ABC News video screenshot)

“This just underscores how congressional oversight has really diminished over the years mainly because we don’t have enforcement powers,” Johnson told the publication. “Administration officials realize this bureaucrats realize this so they just thumbed their nose at congressional investigators that they run off the clock.”

Subsequent reports have revealed a vast array of business dealings between the Biden family and overseas interests. One recent report said the family took in some $31 million from those with links to the Chinese government’s intelligence apparatus.

Just the News also noted Nuland’s memo arrived just months before the New York Times reported Hunter Biden’s position on the Burisma board, and his acceptances of hundreds of thousands of dollars, “undermined” U.S. anti-corruption efforts there.

Joe Biden eventually got Shokin fired after his threat to Ukraine, and after President Trump took office, he asked Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to investigate whether anything untoward occurred in Shokin’s firing.

That was the foundation for the Democrats first of two failed impeach-and-remove campaigns against the sitting president.

The report pointed out, “House Democrats repeatedly argued Trump had no basis to request an investigation and that Biden’s effort to fire Shokin was legitimate because U.S. officials and the whole of U.S. government believed Shokin was either corrupt or ineffective fighting corruption.”

However, those claims are further undermined by another State Department document obtained by Just the News showing that in 2015 a U.S. multiagency task task force on Ukraine had concluded Ukraine had made good progress in fighting corruption and deserved the loan guarantee.

State officials repeatedly have declined to comment.

Alan Dershowitz, the famed Harvard law professor who was on Trump’s defense team back then, said the concealment of the information was problematic.

“Withholding exculpatory material during an impeachment trial violates the spirit if not the letter [of the law],” he said. “It also denies the American people the right to evaluate all the evidence.”

Shokin, in fact, told the Just the News reporter in 2019 and 2020 that U.S. officials “gave no inkling to him that he was doing a bad job and in fact had praised him…”

Shokin has directly charged that he was fired because he was pursuing Burisma and that angered the Biden family.

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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