European Officials Praised Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Reforms Right Before Joe Biden Got Prosecutor Fired, Memo Shows

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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European Commission officials praised Ukraine’s anti-corruption reforms right before then-Vice President Joe Biden successfully pressured Ukraine into firing then-Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

The European Commission wrote a report in December 2015 that laid out how Ukraine was progressing in its efforts to fight corruption, months before Shokin was fired because of threats from Joe Biden to withhold a $1 billion loan guarantee from Ukraine, the New York Post and Just the News first reported. (RELATED: US Officials Were ‘Impressed’ By Prosecutor Joe Biden Got Fired, New Revelations Show)


The European Commission officials noted how Shokin was appointed head of Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) after an intensive selection process. (RELATED: ‘They Were Being Bribed’: Fired Ukrainian Prosecutor Blames Dismissal On Biden ‘Corruption’)

“The National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) was created, its head was appointed on 16 April 2015 following an open and competitive selection process, and around 100 investigators have been recruited and trained. The establishment of the NABU is therefore well-on track,” the memo reads.

“The specialised anti-corruption prosecution office should become operational as a matter of top priority; it is an indispensable component of an effective and independent institutional framework for combating high-level corruption. On 30 November, the General Prosecutor appointed the head of the specialised anti-corruption prosecution,” the memo adds.

European Commission officials believed Ukrainian leadership had committed to further reforms and met its anti-corruption benchmarks up to that point.

“Based on these commitments, the anti-corruption benchmark is deemed to have been achieved,” the report concluded.

Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin holds a press conference in Kiev on the situation in Dnipropetrovsk on November 2, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOV (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)

Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin holds a press conference in Kiev on the situation in Dnipropetrovsk on November 2, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GENYA SAVILOV (GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images)

In February 2016, Shokin oversaw a raid on Ukrainian oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky’s property as part of his investigation into Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, according to a Ukrainian media report. Hunter Biden was being paid more than $80,000 per month as a Burisma board member when the raid took place, bank records released by the House Oversight Committee show.

Shokin filed his letter of resignation to then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in February 2016, a few days after Poroshenko and then-Vice President Joe Biden talked on the phone, White House archives show. The Ukrainian parliament removed Shokin from his position the following month, the Kyiv Post reported.

“Viktor Shokin has managed to implement those reforms that the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) has been opposing for decades,” Poroshenko said upon Shokin’s resignation.

“[T]the prosecutors have been stripped of general supervision, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the State Investigation Bureau, and others have been established. This is on the one hand. On the other hand, the PGO has unfortunately failed to gain society’s trust. And that is why the resignation of the Prosecutor General is on the agenda,” he added.

Joe Biden later bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) about his effort to pressure Poroshenko into firing Shokin. (RELATED: Here’s The Fake Name Joe Biden Used To Schedule A Discussion With Ukraine’s Former President)

“You remember last year I was authorized to say we’d do the second tranche of a billion dollars,” then-VP Biden told the CFR in September 2016. “And [Poroshenko] didn’t fire his chief prosecutor. And because I have the confidence of the president, I was there, and I said: ‘I’m not signing it. Until you fire him, we’re not signing, man. Get it straight. We’re not doing it.'”

Former Burisma board member and Hunter Biden business associate Devon Archer described Shokin as a “threat” to Burisma’s business and recalled Zlochevsky’s property being raided when Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson interviewed Archer in August.

Archer testified to the House Oversight Committee in July about how the Biden family “brand” protected Burisma and kept the firm in business. He further testified Joe Biden spoke with Hunter’s business partners on more than 20 occasions, including a spring 2014 dinner with Russian oligarch Elena Baturina and a spring 2015 dinner with Burisma executive Vadim Pozharskyi.

In addition, Archer said Hunter Biden “called D.C.” in early December 2015 because of pressure from Zlochevsky and Pozharskyi at Burisma’s annual board meeting. Archer was unable to confirm whether Joe Biden was on the other end of Hunter’s phone call.

Then-VP Joe Biden’s office worked with former Hunter Biden business associate Eric Schwerin in December 2015 to handle questions from journalists looking into Hunter Biden’s position with Burisma, according to the House Oversight Committee and archived email records.

Joe Biden’s office also emailed talking points about Zlochevsky and Burisma to State Department officials in December 2015 ahead of his trip to Ukraine. Then-VP Biden spoke to the Ukrainian parliament on Dec. 9, 2015 and urged them to continue pursuing anti-corruption reforms, White House archives show.

The president said Archer’s testimony was “not true” during a confrontation with Fox News reporter Peter Doocy on Aug. 9. The White House has said the president was “not in business” with his son.