The House Oversight Committee is demanding records from the time period when then-Vice President Joe Biden successfully pressured Ukraine into firing a prosecutor who was investigating the Ukrainian energy firm that employed Hunter Biden.
House Oversight wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken Tuesday requesting information about how its perception of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin shifted in late 2015 as Joe Biden began threatening to withhold a $1 billion loan if Ukraine did not fire the prosecutor. At the time, Hunter Biden was making more than $80,000 per month as a board member of Ukrainian energy firm Burisma, according to bank records released in August by House Oversight. (RELATED: European Officials Praised Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Reforms Right Before Joe Biden Got Prosecutor Fired, Memo Shows)
READ THE LETTER:
“Specifically, the Committee seeks information regarding the State Department’s perception of the Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General, at the time headed by Viktor Shokin. Prosecutor General Shokin assumed his position on February 10, 2015. Shokin was elevated to lead the Office of the Prosecutor General amid an ongoing, international investigation focused on corruption surrounding Burisma—a natural gas company in Ukraine—and its founder, Mykola Zlochevsky,” the letter states.
“The Committee seeks to understand the State Department’s sudden change in disposition towards the Ukrainian Office of the Prosecutor General in late 2015,” the letter continues.
“By late 2015, however, the removal of Prosecutor General Shokin became a condition of the loan guarantee by the United States. In March 2016, Shokin was dismissed from his position by the Ukrainian Rada after months of public pressure most adamantly applied by then-Vice President Biden,” the letter adds.
House Oversight cites a June 2015 letter written by State Department official Victoria Nuland to Shokin’s office praising his anti-corruption efforts and pledging to provide U.S. resources to assist Shokin. (RELATED: US Officials Were ‘Impressed’ By Prosecutor Joe Biden Got Fired, New Revelations Show)
— James Lynch (@jameslynch32) September 9, 2023
The committee also references comments from then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt in September 2015 who said Shokin was “leading the fight” against corruption in Ukraine. In addition, House Oversight describes a memo from the Interagency Policy Committee describing how Shokin made enough progress combating corruption for Ukraine to receive a $1 billion loan.
House Oversight’s letter specifically asks for phone calls Joe Biden made to Ukrainian officials from January 2014 to December 2016 and communications between the State Department and then-VP Biden’s office referencing Ukraine, Burisma, Shokin, Hunter Biden and his business associates.
The letter includes a demand for communications between State Department employees and Blue Star Strategies, a lobbying firm recommended to Burisma by Hunter Biden that met with State Department officials on Zlochevsky’s behalf multiple times, according to its May 2022 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) disclosure.
Blue Star also did lobbying work with the State Department for the Ukrainian prosecutor who replaced Shokin and let Burisma off the hook, internal State Department emails released by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs indicate.
Furthermore, House Oversight is requesting communications between a list of State Department officials about Hunter Biden and his associates, and communications surrounding the $1 billion loan guarantee.
The State Department told the Daily Caller it has “received the request for documents and information from Chairman Comer, and as with all congressional inquiries, we aim to be as responsive as possible. Still, it is important to note this is a claim that has been debunked for years. It has no basis in fact. What is fact is that the United States, along with members of the international community and anti-corruption advocates, expressed concern about the Ukrainian prosecutor general and a failure to aggressively prosecute corruption.”
In December 2015, Joe Biden took a trip to Ukraine to deliver a speech urging the Ukrainian parliament to continue fighting corruption days after Hunter Biden “called D.C.” due to pressure from Zlochevsky and Burisma executive Vadim Pozharskyi, former Burisma board member and Hunter Biden business associate Devon Archer testified to House Oversight in July. (RELATED: Burisma Was Told To Remove Picture Of Joe Biden And Devon Archer From Its Website, Emails Show)
On the same day Hunter Biden appeared to call D.C., his business associate Eric Schwerin was working with then-VP Biden’s office to respond to media inquiries surrounding Hunter Biden and Burisma, according to archived emails and a Sept. 6. letter sent by the House Oversight Committee to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Here are the Dec.4, 2015 emails between Hunter Biden’s business partner Eric Schwerin and then-VP Biden communications staffer Kate Bedingfield referenced by House Oversight ⬇️ @DailyCaller https://t.co/ELVxHd9sdA pic.twitter.com/qpQIoZ97Ho
— James Lynch (@jameslynch32) September 6, 2023
Days after Hunter’s phone call, then-VP Biden’s office sent talking points to the State Department urging them not to single out Zlochevsky by name, according to internal State Department emails. Archer could not confirm if Joe Biden was on the receiving end of his son’s phone call.
In early February 2016, Shokin orchestrated a raid on Zlochevsky’s property as part of his investigation into Burisma, according to a Ukrainian media report. Viktor Shokin filed his letter of resignation with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Feb. 19, soon after Poroshenko had a phone call with Joe Biden, White House archives show. In late March 2016, Shokin was removed from his position by the Ukrainian parliament, the Kyiv Post reported.
“You remember last year I was authorized to say we’d do the second tranche of a billion dollars,” then-VP Joe Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations 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.'”
Archer recalled the raid on Zlochevsky when he was interviewed by Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson in August. Archer told Carlson that Burisma viewed Shokin as a “threat” to its business after he told House Oversight about how the Biden family “brand” protected Burisma from scrutiny. (RELATED: Devon Archer Says It’s ‘Categorically False’ Joe Biden Didn’t Know About Hunter’s Business Dealings)
Ep. 13 Part 2. Devon Archer pic.twitter.com/R1sxSuPrKq
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 4, 2023
Archer testified to House Oversight that Joe Biden spoke with his son’s business partners on more than 20 occasions including a spring 2014 dinner with Russian oligarch Elena Baturina and a spring 2015 dinner with Pozharskyi. Joe Biden also met with Hunter Biden’s Chinese business associate in Beijing and later wrote a letter of recommendation for his daughter’s college application, Archer testified.
“I do not want to deal in unproven facts, but my firm personal conviction is that, yes, this was the case,” Shokin said in an August interview with Fox News. “They were being bribed. The fact that Joe Biden gave away $1 billion in U.S. money in exchange for my dismissal, my firing, isn’t that alone a case of corruption?”
Henry Rodgers contributed to this report.