Several newly-unearthed government memos debunk the frequent claims by Democrats that Joe Biden was simply enacting administration policy during his dealings with Ukraine while he was vice president.
According to Just The News, the memos obtained by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request document the various steps taken by the Obama Administration to force Ukraine to comply with its demands. At the heart of the scandal was Biden’s decision, on behalf of the administration, to threaten to withhold $1 billion in aid to Ukraine unless then-President Petro Poroshenko fired the then-Inspector General Viktor Shokin.
Shokin was, at the time, carrying out an investigation into corruption allegations against the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings, where Biden’s son Hunter served on the board. Biden made the threat in December of 2015, and Shokin was dismissed in March of 2016. Biden and others have since claimed that the effort to fire Shokin was not to suppress the Burisma investigation, but instead due to unsubstantiated allegations that Shokin himself was corrupt.
However, the new memos reveal that the Obama Administration was still actively communicating with Shokin and his office even after Biden’s threat. They also detail the administration’s communications with representatives for Burisma.
In January of 2016, senior State Department officials sent a message to Shokin inviting his staff to Washington D.C. for a “strategy session.” They also sent him a personal note expressing their support for him, saying that they were “impressed” by the work he was doing.
American officials were also pressured by Burisma representatives to bury the corruption investigation; officials also feared that Burisma had made at least two different bribery payments within Ukraine in order to have their cases settled. Meanwhile, a high-level American official in Kyiv directly blamed Hunter for sabotaging American anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine due to his working relationship with Burisma.
The Biden-Burisma scandal was the catalyst for the first impeachment of President Donald Trump. During a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Trump suggested that Zelensky’s newly-elected administration could investigate the corruption involving the Bidens and Burisma. Democrats falsely declared this to be an act of political intimidation against both Zelensky and Biden, and impeached President Trump for it; he was subsequently acquitted on both charges of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.”
Since then, further revelations have exposed the extent to which Joe Biden lied about his knowledge of Hunter’s foreign business dealings. Hunter’s former business partner Devon Archer testified before Congress that the elder Biden was included on more than 20 phone calls between Hunter and his foreign business partners, and that the two Bidens worked together on efforts to sell “the brand,” which included promises of access to Biden and political influence.