In an upcoming interview set to air on Saturday night, former Ukraine prosecutor general Viktor Shokin claims that President Biden and his son Hunter accepted bribes to orchestrate his removal from office in 2016.
“I do not want to deal in unproven facts, but my firm personal conviction is that, yes, this was the case. They were being bribed,” Shokin told Fox News host Brian Kilmeade in a preview of the interview released on Friday.
Shokin, who could potentially be a key figure in a future impeachment inquiry against Biden, questioned the ethics behind Biden’s admission that he influenced his firing.
“And the fact that Joe Biden gave away $1 billion in US money in exchange for my dismissal, my firing, isn’t that alone a case of corruption?” Shokin added.
His credibility could significantly impact the impeachment attempts, given that he’s rarely featured in Western media. Shokin was ousted from his position in March 2016 by Ukraine’s parliament, following intense pressure from then-Vice President Joe Biden. At the time, his office was investigating Mykola Zlochevsky, owner of Burisma Holdings, a company that paid Hunter Biden a significant sum to serve on its board.
Biden has publicly acknowledged leveraging $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees to influence Shokin’s removal, stating at a 2018 Council on Foreign Relations event, “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 bitch. He got fired.”
Recent information adds fuel to the controversy. An FBI informant’s file released last month claimed Zlochevsky said he was “coerced” into paying $5 million each to Joe and Hunter Biden to ensure Shokin’s removal. Congressional Republicans are now asking for accountability from the FBI and U.S. Attorney David Weiss’ office, which reportedly received this information in June 2020.
In another segment of the interview, Shokin alleges that Biden played a role in Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, stating, “Everybody knows that it was because of Joe Biden’s actions that Russia was able to claim Crimea without firing a single shot.”
Democrats counter that scrutiny of Biden and his family is politically motivated, pointing out that Trump was impeached in 2019 for pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.
However, defenders of the former president now believe there is ample reason to believe that he was justified in pressing the former Ukrainian president to turn over evidence of alleged Biden corruption.
Among this newly surfaced evidence are emails from the Obama-Biden administration indicate some officials were surprised by Biden’s push for Shokin’s removal.
One year after leaving the White House, Biden boasted about the quid pro quo offer he made to then Ukrainian president Poroshenko to fire Shokin. He explained that he told Ukrainian officials the U.S. would withhold up to $1 billion in aid if Shokin remained in his position.
“I said, ‘Nah, I’m not going to – we’re not going to give you the billion dollars.’ They said, ‘You have no authority. You’re not the president. The president said –.’ I said, ‘Call him.’” Biden remarked during a January 2018 event hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. “I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the $1 billion.’”
“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here,’” Biden added. “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 bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time.”
Devon Archer, a former business partner of Hunter Biden, told the House Oversight Committee that Burisma sought to use Hunter Biden’s name to deter legal challenges. Archer also mentioned that Biden personally met with Burisma board adviser Vadym Pozharskyi earlier in the year when he made the ‘quid pro quo’ threat to the Ukrainian president.